Cambodia registered an unusual victory for labor rights when on January 11, a two-day strike by workers of the country’s largest casino company NagaWorld ended peacefully and possibly successfully following the management’s decision to raise wages and reinstate the union’s leader.
NagaWorld, owned by Hong Kong company NagaCorp, operates the biggest casino center in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. Chinese-owned casinos have boomed in recent years targeting tourists from mainland China, where gambling is officially illegal. This economic development reflects the increasing number of Chinese investments in the country, and the pro-China policy of the current Cambodian government, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for more than three decades already.
Workers initially demanded a wage increase in September 2019. The management’s response was to suspend Chhim Sithar, the president of the union.