Nearly a hundred employees of Sihanoukville’s Yaduoli Casino yesterday staged a protest over outstanding wages after the company failed to pay them.
Casino staffer Srey Mab said their February wages, which were supposed to be paid on the 10th of the month, remain to be settled.
“Since January, the payment of our wages had not been regular. This month, the company promised to pay our delayed wages but it’s already March 22, and we have yet to receive our salary,” said Ms Mab.
She said despite their fear of contracting the coronavirus, which has infected many in the Kingdom, the need for money forces them to report for work.
“We are afraid of the COVID-19 but we come to work as we need our wages to support the daily living of our families,” said Ms Mab.
Another worker who requested anonymity said the workers understand the financial blows the casino has incurred due to the outbreak.
“With a decline in the number of guests the casino has been receiving, the company had to make some wage cuts. We understood that and still came to work. However, they failed to pay us regularly,” said the worker as she appealed for the intervention of the provincial labour department.
“If we remain quiet, no one will know about our problem. That is why we came out here to protest and ask for the labour department’s assistance in finding a solution for our problem,” she said.
Met Vanna, chief of Preah Sihanouk provincial labour department’s inspections and labour dispute office, said yesterday the department had already sent officials to mediate between the staffers and the company. The company has since agreed to pay the arrears by Wednesday.
Labour department director Yov Khemara previously told Khmer Times that 56 out of 75 casinos in Preah Sihanouk were closed down due to the online gambling ban imposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen in August last year.
About 7,700 casino employees were laid off as owners of the casinos, most of whom were Chinese nationals, left the Kingdom.