Cambodian employees of Naga Casino called off a strike scheduled for Thursday after municipal officials refused to give them permission, citing current and upcoming holidays.
“Their request for a strike is too close to the anniversary of Phnom Penh, the Water Festival and King Norodom Sihanouk’s birthday,” said Mann Chhoeun, municipality cabinet chief. “Police will be sent to every place in Phnom Penh for people’s security. So we do not have enough personnel to provide security for the strike.”
The Union Supporting the Rights of Cambodian Employees of Naga Resort requested permission to strike, contending that the casino has not fully paid bonuses promised during government-mediated negotiations in May.
Union Secretary-General Sok Narith said members had agreed to make another attempt at negotiations before striking. But he said he was disappointed at the municipality’s decision.
“It is unfair to issue a letter to us just one day before the strike,” he said. “We sent our proposal weeks ago. Some of our workers are angry and say the union leaders are too scared.”
Teang Sareth, deputy conflict office chief of labor and inspection at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said he will send a letter within the next few days to Naga offering to mediate negotiations.
Naga spokeswoman Jane Martin had no comment Thursday.
The Cambodian employees claim they are paid half as much as employees at other Cambodian casinos and are promoted more slowly than foreign employees at the Malaysian-owned casino. (Additional reporting by Richard Sine)