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Casino employees wish list sent to Macau’s Newly Elect CE

The new chief executive Ho Iat Seng, set to run Macau hasn’t even officially taken over. Mr. Ho is to take office as Macau’s new leader on December 20 but gaming employees of the city are already working to make sure he has very little downtime when he jumps in this December.

Macau casino workers have named better holiday rights as their most-desired improvement to workplace benefits, according to an August survey. The results of the survey have been sent to Macau’s Chief Executive-elect Ho Iat Seng.

The activist group, the new Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association (NMGSRA), one of the biggest labor unions in Macau, distributed a survey to its members looking for input on what they would like to see made by the incoming chief executive, Ho Iat Seng. It was conducted from August 3 to August 7, via a questionnaire distributed to local gaming staff through the Chinese social media platform WeChat, said the group.

There was reportedly a great deal of participation in the survey, according to GGRAsia, with 7,235 members responding. They were said to be employed across an aggregate of 20 Macau casino properties. Respondents were mostly working in either casino operations, security, or cleaning departments, according to Mr Lei.

Out of 12 topics relating to worker benefits stated by the group in its survey, respondents were asked to tick a maximum of three topics they would like the labor group to raise with Macau’s leader-in-waiting.

The 12 topics were: improved holiday rights, salary increases, enforcement of smoking-control policy, imported-labor policy, provident fund coverage, and labor law amendments.

The top-three topics for respondents were – in descending order – “gaming staff should be able to enjoy the same holiday rights as civil servants”; “gaming companies should exercise a five-working-days-per-week program for workers”; and the importance of a “rigorous smoking-control policy for safeguarding workers’ health”, according to the labor group.

Mr. Lei told the media:

“From the results, it is actually quite a surprise to us that most respondents have chosen topics related to a healthy working environment, rather than salary increments or imported-labor policy.”

Perhaps the 13- or 14-month annual salary the workforce receives is enough. Among the primary changes Ho is going to have to consider are changes to the city’s smoking policies in order to keep employees’ health, equal holiday rights for casino employees as compare to those availed by civil servants and a five-day work week.

The survey showed that smoking-related issues are still a problem for casino workers. The union’s director, Cloee Chao, explained:

“Smoking-control violation is still a serious problem…the complaints that we always receive are mostly from the gaming workers that are employed at smaller casinos where they [venue management] did not install up-to-standard smoking lounges; and also [from] those that work in VIP gaming rooms.”

“We met with Mr Ho’s [Ho Iat Seng’s] campaign office and delivered him the survey results [in early August],” Ms Chao added.

She was referring to a period prior to the new leader’s election. He was the only candidate and was chosen by a 400-strong committee on August 25, garnering 98 percent of the vote.

Ms. Chao said:

“Since the new chief executive would be handling the retender for Macau casino gaming rights, it is a good opportunity to tell him what the workers would want the government to consider [when negotiating the retender terms].”

It will be interesting to see how the smoking concerns are dealt with, especially since Macau just approved more smoking lounges. Macau’s casinos were given approval of another 21 lounges between them over the past two months, and second-hand smoke concerns are certainly going to be a topic of discussion. There are now 583 smoking lounges that adhere to the city’s updated smoking policies, but casino employees may feel that they don’t offer enough protection.

Macau is going to have to conduct a new tender process for gaming licenses in a few years. There are currently six licenses issued and all will expire in 2022, and the employees’ union feels that this will make a great opportunity to have its wishes used as bargaining chips for the new tenders.

The union’s director asserts,

“Since the new chief executive would be handling the retender for Macau casino gaming rights, it is a good opportunity to tell him what the workers would want the government to consider [when negotiating the retender terms].”

The labor group’s representatives reckoned that the survey result reflected that gaming staff – especially those that were entry-level gaming operations workers and worked on shifts – were dissatisfied with industry policies regarding weekly rest periods, annual-leave rules, and the working environment.

Mr. Ho, a local businessman and former president of Macau’s Legislative Assembly, has no direct link with the city’s gaming businesses. He has not publicly commented in detail so far about the likely future direction for the city’s gaming industry.

Source: https://calvinayre.com/2019/09/09/casino/macau-casino-employees-have-a-wish-list-for-new-chief-executive/
http://www.ggrasia.com/gaming-staff-wish-list-sent-to-macau-ce-elect-activists/

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Seema Waqar

Seema Waqar

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