“The strike is caused by repeated management failure….” NagaWorld’s mismanagement and multiple failures in 2021 continues into 2022.

“The strike is caused by repeated management failure….” NagaWorld’s mismanagement and multiple failures in 2021 continues into 2022.

Acting against all common sense and decency, and with complete disregard for the negative impact on employees, guests, investors and the gaming industry, NagaWorld management in Cambodia has chosen to start 2022 with an escalation of a crisis that could easily have ended in 2021.

Deeply frustrated and dismayed by the repeated refusal of NagaWorld management to engage in good faith negotiations over the forced mass redundancy of over 1,300 workers that left many destitute and in poverty, union members overwhelmingly voted in favour of strike action in early November 2021. The union, LRSU, issued a notice of strike on November 22, 2021, entitled “Notice of peaceful strike in front of Naga World from December 18, 2021 until a solution is found”. In the four weeks that followed, NagaWorld management did nothing to try to find that solution.

While LRSU made every effort to find a negotiated solution over this four week period, management refused to talk and simply avoided attending the first of three mediation meetings with the Ministry of Labour. When management finally attended these meetings, they remained silent, relying on ministry officials to pressure the union to give up workers’ demands.

LRSU expressed the frustration and disappointment of union members in its letter to management on December 9, 2021:

In fact, union members, who are employees of your company, are so deeply angered and frustrated by the mass forced redundancies and failure to recognize their contribution and hard work is evidence of corporate failure. Obviously, workers do not easily decide to strike, they spent a lot of time fulfilling the legal requirements and finally voted overwhelmingly to decide to strike, which is the result of frustration and a loss of confidence in the company’s management.

This included the failure to find a solution through negotiations:

Instead of engaging in good faith negotiations and working together to find a solution, the company has exploited loopholes and shortcomings in the law and legal process to escape its responsibility. The real context of the strike notice is the repeated failure of management to act in good faith to find a solution to this situation.

As LRSU states very clearly in its December 9 letter to NagaWorld management, this is a strike caused by management failure:

The strike is caused by repeated management failure and a complete loss of trust in the ability of management to resolve these issues.

On the first day of the strike action on December 18, management still made no effort to engage in negotiations to prevent the escalation of the labour dispute and limit damage to the business. Instead management sought a legal injunction against the strike and lobbied the authorities to label the strike as “illegal”. In desperation, senior Ministry of Labour officials turned to social media to discredit the strike, dangerously labelling it as a politically motivated “colour revolution”. This blatant attempt to justify repressive political measures to end an industrial dispute prompted widespread public criticism.

As one of the largest integrated gaming resorts in Asia, the crisis at NagaCorp’s NagaWorld in Cambodia has repercussions for the region. Repeated failures by management – including lax COVID-19 safety protocols and attempts to cover up a community outbreak in one of its casinos¬† in February and March 2021 – have propelled the company into a prolonged crisis in 2022.

The placards in Khmer, English and Chinese read: Naga World Casino Cambodia Employees on Strike! We were terminated after protesting against management’s failure to maintain COVID-19 safety for workers & guests

 

Solidarity for Marriott workers in Indonesia as global management ignores human rights abuses

Solidarity for Marriott workers in Indonesia as global management ignores human rights abuses

Solidarity for unfairly terminated Marriot workers at W Bali – Seminyak and Courtyard By Marriott Bandung escalates in the Asia-Pacific region as Marriott global management continues to ignore human rights violations and abusive labour practices in Indonesia as tourism recovers at the cost of workers.

PROTEST From Bali to Bandung Marriott is violating the rights of hardworking hotel workers – IUF Asia-Pacific (iufap.org)

PROTEST From Bali to Bandung Marriott is violating the rights of hardworking hotel workers – IUF Asia-Pacific (iufap.org)

Marriott workers in Indonesia continue protest actions against unfair dismissals

Marriott workers in Indonesia continue protest actions against unfair dismissals

Members of the IUF-affiliated FSPM continue to hold protest actions demanding the reinstatement of 12 unfairly terminated union leaders and members, including the union president. They were terminated in retaliation for reporting labour rights violations at the hotel.

Marriott workers in Indonesia protest unfair dismissals for reporting labour rights violations

Marriott workers in Indonesia protest unfair dismissals for reporting labour rights violations

On August 26, workers at Courtyard by Marriott in Bandung launched protest actions in response to the unfair termination of 15 workers including the union president.

Although management claims the terminations were for “efficiency” reasons, their dismissal followed the union’s request to the Manpower Department (labour department) to investigate violations of labour regulations at the hotel.

In April 2020 the union and Courtyard management negotiated an agreement on wage reductions during the temporary closure of the hotel. Union members agreed to temporary wage cuts in return for job security during the pandemic. Eventually it was agreed that workers would receive 50% of their basic salary during the temporary shutdown. Although management indicated in May 2020 they might impose temporary layoffs, the union opposed this and reported it to the Manpower Department. Management then maintained the terms of the agreement.

From August to December 2020 the temporary wage reduction was continued, but management first had to pay unpaid wages for May to July. The war arrears were eventually paid.

However in January 2021 management then broke the agreement by unilaterally imposing further wage cuts. Without any transparency or justification, the new round of wage reductions varied in the different departments of the hotel. This was as much as 70% in some departments. As the union had pointed out in April 2020, 50% of the basic wage is already less than the legal minimum wage. Now management was unilaterally cutting this further.

Management also abolished the weekly day off and overtime pay. Instead of overtime pay workers would receive two days off. All three of these unilateral changes violate labour regulations. After management refused to respond to requests by the union to reverse these changes and negotiate other changes that could help to reduce costs, the union reported the violations to the Manpower Department on 15 June. On 8 July the labour department carried out an inspection of the hotel to verify these violations and met with union members. Three weeks later management summoned 12 union members, including the union president, to a meeting and announced layoffs due to “efficiency”.

Of those issued with termination notices 12 union members, including the union president, refused to accept it since there was no negotiation with the union to explain the criteria for redundancies or the efficiency issues behind it. On 5 August the union made a proposal that the company offer voluntary early retirement, stop using outsourced contract workers, and stop hiring new employees. Management ignored this and pushed ahead with the terminations.

In a meeting on 12 August, the union reminded the management of the sacrifice union members already made to help the business through this difficult time. Workers endured pay cuts for one and a half years, pushing them below the legal minimum wage and well below a living wage. This sacrifice was in return for job security. Now management’s actions have taken that job security away.

Also, by terminating the elected union president, management has denied all union members their right to union representation. This further undermines job security and rights at Courtyard by Marriott in Bandung.

Cancel the termination of employment due to efficiency including the Union President at Courtyard Bandung

Essential food workers at General Mills strike for decent pay, secure jobs

Essential food workers at General Mills strike for decent pay, secure jobs

After working hard throughout the pandemic as essential food industry workers, members of the IUF-affiliated United Workers Union (UWU) are on strike for decent wages and fair treatment.

For workers at the General Mills factory in Rooty Hill in New South Wales, Australia, there is no recognition or reward for their hard work or long hours as essential food industry workers making brands like Old El Paso Mexican Food and Latina Fresh Pasta. This includes casual workers working for more than five years in insecure jobs. Despite being essential in the pandemic, General Mills is refusing to make them permanent.

Yet in its announcement to investors in March this year, it was very clear that all this hard work created value for shareholders:
“In Europe and Australia, third quarter organic net sales grew 7%, primarily driven by growth in Old El Paso Mexican Food and Haagen-Dazs retail ice cream.”
All this contributed to the 8% increase in global sales to USD 4.5 billion last year, with a 27 % increase in operating profit at USD 827 million. Global management told investors that “Mexican food” in the Australian market offers “the greatest potential for growth”.

Despite contributing to this sales growth and profit through their hard work, workers in Australia are being denied a fair wage.

IUF affiliates are mobilizing to support the strike at General Mills in Rooty Hill.

Click here to sign the petition!