The continuing peaceful demonstrations of former NagaCorp employees in front of Naga World in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, prompted a response from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, reported The Phnom Penh Post.
Protests to Continue
Marking a 10th consecutive day of protests, the people at the casino resort demanded a lawful solution to the issue that, according to them, includes the reinstatement of 365 employees most of who are members of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees (LRSU) of NagaWorld trade union.
Commenting on the subject, the spokesman of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training Heng Sour said that the role of the ministry as defined by Cambodian labor laws is to mediate and reconcile labor disputes between employers and employees but the ultimate solution rests on both sides agreeing to terms and if they cannot, settlement may be reached through the court.
“In cases where there is no reconciliation among the parties, they have to file a complaint with the courts as a last resort. The ministry will continue to fulfil its duties within the scope of the labour laws.”Heng Sour, Spokesman, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training
In a press release dated December 23, the ministry addressed the issue in which protesting workers could not reach an agreement with NagaCorp as they wanted the casino operator to reinstate all protesting workers before calculating severance payments but this would require an upward recalculation of payments for 85 workers who had agreed upon leave to forego all future claims against the employer. NagaCorp refused to recalculate payments for those workers and to reinstate all workers who continue to protest.
“As of December 27, I don’t know who received severance pay, but I know that each individual was offered some amount of compensation for their respective consideration.”Heng Sour, Spokesman, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training
Reinstatement of Workers
According to the secretary of the LRSU of Naga World Chhim Sokhon, the non-violent protests would continue if a solution cannot be found via the arbitration council. She also said to the media that the workers expect NagaCorp to reinstate them as they view the act of reinstatement as a sign of goodwill on behalf of the company to obey the labor laws and stop discriminating against union members.
That NagaCorp should end the protest as soon as possible also believes Moeun Tola, the executive director of the Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights, urging the casino operator to reinstate the workers rather than continuing to recruit new and inexperienced employees. He also expressed hopes the relevant institutions would play their role to speed up the process of finding a resolution.