Blog

Macau Casino Workers Protest

MACAU Threats of strike action by Macau’s casino workers saw share prices fall, Bloomberg reported. Macau’s Casino workers are protesting unaffordable housing, pay and working conditions, Bloomberg said. Share in various Macau casino companies fell between 0.8 2 percent, Bloomberg reported.

The protest by gaming workers 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. Photographer Brent LewinBloomberg

More than 1,000 casino workers in Macau took to the streets yesterday 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 labor union, said more than 7,000 employees took part, while police put the number at 1,400.Joey Au Yeung, a casino dealer of seven years at MGM China Holdings Ltd. and one of the demonstrators, said almost half of her monthly salary of 17,000 patacas ($2,130) goes to pay rent and it’s difficult to make ends meet.

“I have to rent and live in a 300 square-foot flat with my three kids and my husband, with little hope of owning a house,” said Au Yeung, who works six days a week, including two night shifts. “I have no time to spend with my kids.”

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.