Macau Casino Workers Stage Demonstration For Salary Hike In 2017
Macau casino workers recently held a demonstration urging casinos to announce a 5 percent pay hike for employees in 2017.
Cloee Chao, who is the president of employee group Professionals for Gaming of New Macau, said that around 300 workers had participated in the drive while the city’s Public Security Police put the number at 200. Chao had earlier led a similar drive in November resulting in a petition being submitted to the Macau government that requested a salary increase of 5 percent.
For the 12 month period ending November 2016, the average composite consumer price index in Macau rose by 2.56 percent over same period last year according to data from the Statistics and Census Service in the city. Chao pointed out that only Sands China Ltd out of the city’s six operators had announced a pay rise in 2016.
She said that the group was choosing to demonstrate now since this was the period during which the companies wrapped up their financial accounting for the previous year and also because in the past salary hikes have been announced around Chinese New Year which falls on 28 Jan this year. Chao stated that the demonstration was aimed at persuading the government to ask the casino operators to award salary increases. She has said that the group would intensify efforts if no announcements are made this month.
In a statement, Chao said,
We’ll collect signatures from our gaming worker members to back the pay hike call again if we still do not hear any news about it after Chinese New Year [this month]. We’ll even initiate a bigger action. What we mean by this bigger action is that we might express our call via demonstrating at the casinos here.
Another demand made by the demonstrators was the introduction of a law to regulate trade union activity. This demand has been backed by Macau legislators Au Kam San and Antonio Ng Kuok Cheong. Chao stated that the law would assist union workers to negotiate better with the companies. Choi highlighted that with gaming revenues stabilizing in Macau, the casinos are now in a position to offer a hike that can cover inflation.
Another employee group the Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff’s Association has also raised a demand for hiking salaries for casino workers, with its Director general Choi Kam Fu stating that the group was planning to propose a pay raise in the range of 5 – 7 percent.
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