That certainly didn’t take long. This past weekend, Melco employees protested outside the Macau City of Dreams casino over wages and bonuses. The organizers of the protest, the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association (NMGSRA) threatened to take their issues to the government if Melco didn’t respond, and has now held onto that promise.
This past Tuesday, the NMGSRA said that it would be delivering a petition to Macau’s Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai On, as it attempts to find resolution over discrepancies in pay and working conditions. The labor group is pushing for Melco to contribute to the city’s employee fund scheme based on the employees’ complete salaries, and not just on their base pay. They also want the casino operator to improve “occupational health and safety.”
Melco issued a response to the protests, saying, “We have had meetings with Macau Federation of Trade Unions (FAOM) and Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff’s Association (MGESA), and have been in discussion with these associations regarding the additional bonus, contribution to the provident fund and offer of seats at gaming tables.” The last remark is an apparent reference to some dealers being forced to stand while working.
The company further stated, “Melco responded positively during a meeting with Lee Chong Cheng, vice president of the FAOM and Choi Kam Fu, secretary-general of the MGESA, on August 10.”
However, NMGSRA disagrees. The group said through a social media post, “It is unfortunate that the company is not giving any positive feedback to the employees, but only disclosing information through certain community and media groups…The company says it is discussing with the government how to distribute the bonus. How can this discussion last for over six months without any results?”
The NMGSRA has been successful at forcing hands in the past. The group circulated a petition last month to have Galaxy Entertainment issue a summer bonus to its employees, resulting in Galaxy distributing a “one-off special discretionary” bonus to certain employees that was equal to one month’s base salary and guaranteed tips, if so entitled. 97% of the operator’s employees were eligible for the bonus.
Wynn Macau and Sands China have both also agreed to give their employees the summer bonus. In both cases, it is equal to one month’s gross salary, but the scheduled payout dates differ. Wynn was expected to give its employees the bonus yesterday, while Sands China employees won’t receive theirs until the end of this month.