Macau gaming workers protest, threaten strike

    Thousands of gaming workers staged a march in Macau to demand better pay and working conditions from the gambling hub’s six casino operators, local media said.
    The protest was organized by Forefront of Macau Gaming, which has held several other demonstrations recently against individual operators.
    “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 cited as saying.
    The workers have also demanded a high-level meeting with SJM Holdings and said they may begin industrial action if the company doesn’t respond within three days.
    Cloee Chao, secretary general of the labor union, said more than 7,000 employees took part, while police put the number at 1,400, Bloomberg said.
    The rising cost and availability of labor in Macau is one of the key concerns among analysts following casino companies in the territory, especially given the huge ramp up in demand for new employees with the upcoming opening of new resorts on Cotai.
    Galaxy Entertainment alone said it will need 8,000 new workers for its new Galaxy Macau resort.