It is a challenging time for Macau’s casino gambling industry. 2019 was one of the worst financial years reported with revenues plummeting by record margins in December 2019. Now the casino workers in the city have also taken to the streets demanding better working conditions.
The New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, led by Cloee Chao, organized the protest against the concerned authorities and casino operators. Chao said that the protestors were calling for better treatment of casino staff which included security guards and janitors.
It is reported that the protests saw 500 protestors participating, however, the local police says they were only about 300 in number.
The protestors demand a 14-month salary payment and a guaranteed 5% annual pay raise. The protestors demand the pay raise to mitigate inflation.
The protestors claim that the profits of the casino operators have jumped in the past three years and is disproportionate to the benefits extended to the employees. The workers said that they get a pay raise of just 2.5 percent a year.
Macau Daily Times reports that the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association also calls for reduced working hours for casino workers and also an extension of the annual leave allowance. The organization also demands a housing subsidy for non-local workers to be allowed for local workers as well.
The casino workers have also been calling for alternatives to computer-assisted gambling tables, which they say is harmful to the casino workers and dealers. The leader of the association says that they call these tables as radiation tables and are a risk to the health of the casino workers.
While the casino operators are yet to respond to the demands, the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has assured workers that it is committed to protecting their health.