Raffles Employees End Strike as Talks Continue

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.

 

 

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