Complaints over the collection of service charges, which led to a strike at luxury hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap earlier this month, will be addressed today at three separate Arbitration Council hearings, a Council member said.
The Council will hear cases from Hotel InterContinental, Hotel Cambodiana and Sunway Hotel, the official said Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
The Council has also invited representatives from the Raffles-owned Grand d’Angkor hotel in Siem Reap, which fired workers who participated in the strike, the Council member said.
“We want to know why the hotel fired the workers,” the official said. At least 200 workers at that hotel were hand-delivered termination notices over the weekend.
The union representing the fired workers is demanding severance pay from Grand d’Angkor, said the union’s president, Pap Sambo.
“We want the Arbitration Council to pressure the hotel to adhere to the labor law,” Pap Sambo said.
But management at the Grand d’Angkor has not decided whether it will attend the hearing, said the hotel’s lawyer, Seng Vuoch Hun. Raffles has also threatened to fire strikers at its Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh.
The Council previously ordered hotels to pay workers a portion of the service charge, which normally amounts to 10 percent of a customer’s bill. Many of the hotels dropped the charges from their bills after that ruling.
The long-running dispute over the charges erupted in strikes before the Khmer New Year holiday, when some 2,000 workers at seven hotels refused to work.
A dispute at the Sofitel Angkor Hotel was resolved after hotel managers agreed to pay workers $45 in addition to their monthly salaries, and to comply with service charge disbursals if the government so orders it, said union leaders and hotel management.
“I think everything has been settled,” said Marc Begassat, the hotel’s general manager.
A dispute at the Pansea Angkor Hotel ended through mediation earlier this month.