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Common ground elusive in NagaWorld labour dispute

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The NagaWorld integrated resort in Phnom Penh last year. Heng Chivoan

Common ground elusive in NagaWorld labour dispute

A proposed meeting scheduled for March 23 to find a solution for the labour dispute at NagaWorld integrated resort may not take place, as representatives of the former staff and those of the company failed to find common ground at an earlier meeting.

In a press statement on March 21, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training said it had facilitated a meeting between former NagaWorld staff and the company. The meeting was chaired by Tes Rukhaphal, secretary-general of the ministry’s committee for the resolution of strikes, and attended by five employee representatives led by Chhim Sithor and five Nagaworld representatives led by Hein Dames.

During the meeting, the employee representatives made several demands, including that the company reinstate the workers before other points would be discussed.

The employees, represented by those recently released on bail, said there are 300 current employees who have offered to relinquish their positions. They demanded that the company reinstate 200 former staff to replace them.

“If the company does not agree to our request for the exchange of workers, then we will no longer attend these negotiations,” they said.

The company said it wanted to discuss the order issued by the arbitration council last September, and would speak about job reinstatements if the employee representatives insisted on it. However, the exchange of 300 current staff for 200 former ones would not be considered.

“The option of exchanging working staff with those who demand reinstatement will not be considered,” the NagaWorld representative was quoted as saying in the press statement.

The ministry said it will continue to set dates for meetings between the two sides.

“Once again, the ministry requests that both sides display a mutual understanding and participate in ending this dispute. Please work with the authorities and follow the correct legal procedures in order to guarantee security and public order,” it said.

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