Striking employees at Raffles hotels in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh returned to work on Friday, as negotiations continued in the ongoing labor dispute.
The Christmas Eve strikes at Phnom Penh’s Raffles Hotel Le Royal and Siem Reap’s Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor were declared illegal by Phnom Penh authorities, prompting the unions to send their members back to work, according to a statement written by Riez Mahmood, manager of Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor.
Union officials on Friday said that their strike was not illegal.
The unions and hotel management have agreed on five of eight points. The Arbitration Council, an independent body comprised of union members, government officials and employers, is expected to issue a judgment on the remaining issues on Sunday.
Still unresolved are the Raffles unions’ demands to receive money from a 10 percent charge attached to bills for services rendered. They also want yearly bonuses and a set minimum salary for temporary workers. Svay Chandara, Raffles Hotel Le Royal union vice president, said, “If employers do not pay the 10 percent service charge, it is a violation of the labor law.”
The law states that service charges shall be divided among all employees who service customers.
The five points the unions and hotel management agreed upon were to pay double-time to employees who work nights; employees shall not work longer than nine hours per day; the hotel will buy medical insurance for employees; employees who work overtime will be paid time and a half; and employees will receive life insurance.
Though progress has been made, the service charge remained the key issue, officials said.