Cambodia’s Largest Casino Cuts Job To Pay Redundant Staff
With depleting profits amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cambodia’s largest casino is expected to cut down over 1,300 jobs in order to pay redundant staff part of the severance pay legally owed. According to the workers union and advocates, the pandemic has been unfair to workers and as such, alternative means have to be considered if workers are to get some sort of payment. The coronavirus pandemic has continued to threaten various workforce worldwide in the last 12 to 16 months.
NagaWorld resort houses more than 1,500 luxury rooms, spas, lounges, spectacular gaming halls, and shopping centre. The renowned resort told 1,300 of its staff that they will be made redundant in the coming weeks.
Redundant staff will receive severance packages based on the truncated wages last year, and using government guidelines to help businesses navigate the pandemic. Although redundant staff will be getting a pay, they will lose tens of thousands of dollars.
“Workers risked their safety to make profits for NagaWorld during the pandemic and then when they need help, they are abandoned,” union leader Chhim Sithar said.
“We are asking for support and they have responded with the idea of mass layoffs. It’s extremely disappointing,” she said.
She also mentioned that NagaWorld’s payment plans are against labor laws, citing that redundancies should take into account longevity and seniority.
The harsh conditions presented by the pandemic, means labor laws are not as enforced as before. Companies are capitalizing on the leniency of the laws and the fact that unemployment is on the rise to force staffs to agree to unfavourable conditions.
According to International Trade Union Confederation, since the pandemic started, several countries have reduced regulations on businesses in order to aid the private sector, and this has led to workers facing harsh conditions in regards to welfare and payment.
At the peak of the pandemic, Cambodia had the lowest rate of infections and fatality in the world with less than a 100 deaths, and not more than 11,000 cases.
NagaWorld was opened in the first quarter of 2020. It closed its doors from April to July. The effects of the pandemic saw profits drop from $521 million in 2019 to $109 million in 2020.
The casino also suspended operations in March after a number of its staff tested positive for coronavirus.
NagaWorld’s salary cut, and downsizing has been met with lots of negative press.
“It undermines basic rights that workers are entitled to,” said Khun Tharo, of the Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights.
“NagaWorld profits, but the workers go hungry? If they get away with this, it would encourage employers across sectors to do the same,” said Tharo.