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NagaWorld’s dispute meetings in stalemate after ninth round talks

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A meeting between NagaWorld and workers' representatives at the Ministry of Labour on May 4. LABOUR MINISTRY

NagaWorld’s dispute meetings in stalemate after ninth round talks

The ninth meeting between NagaWorld and worker representatives has ended in a stalemate, with both sides failing to reach a compromise, according to the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

The ministry announced the lack of outcome of the May 4 meeting in a same-day notice. It noted that union representatives requested that the integrated casino resort reinstate 200 laid-off workers, and suggested a rotation scheme with current employees in which participants work 50-per-cent shifts in the first month and 70-per-cent time in the second, before returning to full-time work.

But the management responded that the current workforce at the company have already been made redundant. It said there are also currently 400 workers who have been absent without permission, signalling that it could be willing to reinstate them should they return to work.

The union also requested that the company offer more options on working sites for workers to choose from, but the company said they would not be offering any alternative. Resort management said they would only keep on the absent workers and offer a contract-ending gratuity for workers eligible for it.

The union also requested, through the labour ministry, that charges brought against NagaWorld worker representatives and unionists be dropped. It also requested the re-recognition of the union, with authorities returning phones, computers and other materials confiscated from protesting workers.

At least eight workers had been arrested for “illegal” protests demanding the reinstatement of laid-off workers since late last year.

“After a heated discussion, both sides could not reach common ground. The ministry has set the date of the next meeting as Wednesday, May 11 … for both sides to reconsider the possibility of concessions to be made to end the conflict,” the ministry said, adding that it urged “utmost tolerance” between the two parties.

In a separate notice issued on May 4, the labour ministry denied speculation that NagaWorld had agreed to reinstate workers who were made redundant.

In an effort to reach a solution to the conflict, union member workers had approached Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who urged all sides to resolve the issue according to law.

In the subsequent notice, the labour ministry said it had followed the recommendations of Sar Kheng based on labour law and legal principles related to worker lay-offs. It said the National Employment Agency has also been helping the workers to apply for new jobs.

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