In response to a decision by Forefront of Macau Gaming (FMG) to hold another demonstration outside its Sands Macao property, the company has issued a statement reiterating the fact that it has a master plan in place to improve its team structure and benefits scheme. The press statement said, “Some programmes of this master plan were already launched in the first half of the year, including earlier-than-usual January pay as a special arrangement in light of the Chinese New Year holiday; the payment of a bonus in February to all eligible full-time team members; a company-wide 5 per cent salary increase in March; and a recently announced special award of one-month’s additional salary for all manager grade and below team members (over 27,000 team members) in July, to be paid annually through 2017”. The company said that the above awards represented a 13.3 percent salary increase for eligible team members, more than double the inflation rate of 5.99 percent in Macau and way above the growth rate in the local market. Sands also said that, since the beginning of the year, close to 10,000 team members have received additional salary increments or promotions with over 70 per cent from the Table Games department. Similar to a statement by Galaxy earlier this week, Sands China stressed that employees were encouraged to use “reasoned and direct internal communication channels to express their concerns and opinions to the company.”
FMG is demanding a ten percent salary increase for all employees and says that if Sands does not meet its demands it will call a strike. The head of FMG, Ieong Man Teng, criticized Sands China for not “negotiating sincerely” since the beginning, and accused the company of unfair in the salary increase policy since some, including supervisors, were not eligible for any. It also wants the company to cancel its internship position policy between dealers and supervisors.
Deutsche Bank said that pressure from employees for better rates of pay and career development opportunities could push up labor costs by 10-15 percent. Five out of the six Macau operators have increased employee remuneration this year.