More than 1,000 casino workers in Macau continued their street protests on Monday, demanding better pay and improved working conditions from their employers.
The latest protest is the seventh of its kind this year. Members from the Macau Gaming Industry Frontline Workers once again took the streets, marching and stopping at some of the biggest casinos in Macau to make their cases and points heard. The objective of the latest protest is similar to previous calls for increased wages among casino workers throughout the former Portuguese colony.
“In July and August, our colleagues expected the gaming enterprises to carry out social responsibilities and fight for adjustments on salaries and benefits. We also hope the gaming enterprises cancel internship positions. We hope our salaries to be protected,” Ieong Man Teng, President of the Forefront of Macau Gaming was quoted.
According to Cloee Chao, the secretary general of the labor union, workers are demanding a 10 percent increase in salary for every employee below manager’s level, as well as keeping foreign workers from taking any dealer jobs in Macau and extending the smoking ban to all areas of the casino.
A huge chunk of the 10,000-strong union participated in the latest protest, waving banners and shouting slogans outside the casinos of Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment and SJM Holdings Ltd. The group finished by voicing their concerns in front of the office of Macau’s Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on.
The protestors have held firm in their beliefs that casino employees are entitled to these terms in light of the living costs in Macau and the massive expansion a handful of these operators are preparing for in the coming years. The possibility of more social and political crackdowns from Beijing have also caused fears among employers who believe that they’re not being paid what they’re worth for working in an industry that demands a lot from them.
The workers have continually requested meetings with casino operators in the hopes of beginning a discussion that could potentially lead to a solution for all parties concerned.