Over 1,000 Macau casino workers stage protest for better pay

More than 1,000 casino workers in Macau took to the streets Monday for a seventh time this year to demand better pay and working conditions in the world’s largest gambling hub.

Members from Macau Gaming Industry Frontline Workers marched through some of the busiest streets in the city and stopped at all of the city’s biggest casinos including Sands China Ltd., Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and SJM Holdings Ltd.

They waved banners, blew whistles and shouted slogans.

Cloee Chao, secretary general of the labour union, said more than 7,000 employees took part, while police put the number at 1,400.

Police officers and security guards put up barricades, with some of them holding hands, in front of casinos to prevent the demonstrators from getting near the properties.

Chao said the union is demanding a 10 per cent pay increase for all workers below manager’s level, especially for dealers.

It’s also demanding a rule barring foreign workers from taking dealers’ jobs, and extend smoking bans to all parts of the casinos, said Chao, who’s a pit supervisor at Wynn Macau. 

The protest comes as casino operators face worsening labor strains as some of them near completion on new resorts in China’s only city where casinos are legal, requiring thousands more workers starting from next year. 

The tensions also coincide with a Beijing government bent on rooting out corruption and money laundering, via a crackdown that’s already hit gambling revenues.

Source: Washington Post