Casino Workers In Macau Increase Pressure For Salary Hike

Casino Workers In Macau Increase Pressure For Salary Hike March 3, 2016 March 3, 2016 Paul Butcher
 General March 3, 2016 by Paul Butcher

Macau CasinosKey associations that represent casino workers in Macau are doing their best to persuade casino operators in the city to raise salaries for this year.

In a recent move, members from the associations met the city’s government to urge it to influence the operators to announce a hike in salaries.

According to local media reports, the petition was made during a meeting between the association members and the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lionel Leong Vai Tac who handles labour affairs and the administration of Macau’s gaming industry.

So far, among the six operators in Macau only Sands China has announced a hike in salaries for 2016. All operators have however announced staff bonuses for the year.

According to reports, Sands China has given its employees an increase of MOP500 per month for workers earning up to MOP12,000 (US$1,500) per month, which works out to a raise of around 4 to 6 percent. For those earning more than MOP12,000 per month, a raise of round 2 percent, with a monthly limit of MOP45,000 post increase has been announced.

Choi Kam Fu, director general of the Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff’s Association said that Mr. Leong has promised to deliver the concerns raised by the association members to the casino operators.

In the meeting with Mr. Leong, the association representatives also brought up the requirement to increase work-related subsidies offered by the casinos. They have also raised a request to improve worker insurance coverage. Other issues discussed were better training and promotion opportunities for frontline casino staff.

Efforts to influence casino operators to announce a salary hike have been ongoing for the past few months but have so far not paid a lot of dividends. The Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff’s Association with two other groups wrote letters in January to Macau’s casino operators asking for the companies to raise salary and incentives in 2016. The Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff’s Association is affiliated with the city’s largest labour group the Macau Federation of Trade Unions.

Macau has been reeling from declining casino revenues arising from the anti-corruption crackdown by the Chinese government, resulting in gamblers from mainland China keeping away from Macau. Gross gaming revenue for the city was MOP230.84 billion in 2015 which was a drop of 34.3 percent over 2014.

Analysts have highlighted that in a scenario of declining revenues, rising labour costs might impact the margins of the companies. However worker associations maintain that a salary raise would not hurt the companies significantly as salary costs do not often exceed beyond 10 percent of operating costs.

Paul ButcherAuthor

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