Galaxy responds to labor protest

    Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) has responded to the latest protest by labor group Forefront of Macau Gaming by issuing a statement about its reward programs and encouraging employees to go through official internal channels to make their feelings known. VP of public relations, Buddy Lam, reiterated that GEG has conducted market salary alignment every July since its operation. He highlighted the fact that last month the company had given a salary rise to 7,000 team members from over 200 front line positions and that certain eligible team members were to be given a pay rise effective August 1.
    “With the celebration of its 10th anniversary in operation, GEG announced the ‘Special Reward Program’ on 4 August with the purpose of expressing gratitude to our team members for their valuable contributions and sharing the growth results with them. The special program, having been prepared for several months, includes a “Special Share Award” that rewards all team members at Senior Manager grade or below with company shares equivalent to three months’ salary as of August 2014,” said Lam. He added that a special award bonus equivalent to one month’s salary would be issued in July 2015 and 2016.
    Lam said that the Special Reward Program applied to over 16,000 employees at various levels within the organization, which would take time to administer. Lam reiterated that GEG “would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to most of our team members who rationally conveyed their views directly to GEG”.
    In a July report, Morgan Stanley said that labor competition was likely to intensify in the near term, estimating a shortfall of 13,800 local employees by 2017 when the next wave of resorts in Cotai are set to open. Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam said the government was focusing on gaming workers’ requests for improved salaries and promotions and officials held a two hour closed door meeting with workers from Sands China and representatives from Forefront of Macau Gaming on July 28.