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Casino workers voice discontent at Labor Day protest

A total of 1,800 people, including around 300 casino workers, took to the streets for Labor Day demonstrations in Macau to demand that the government protect their benefits and welfare.

Nine protests were organized by 13 trade unions on the Chinese public holiday that celebrates workers but which has become a chance for workers in Macau to voice their discontent.

 The groups rallied at a variety of venues in the Northern District and Tap Seac Square, before marching to the government headquarters to petition the Chief Executive Chui Sai On.

Holding banners and chanting slogans, workers from the casinos were demanding a full smoking ban come into effect as soon as possible and for pit managers to stop issuing warning letters to their subordinates on a daily basis, The Macau Daily Times reported.

According to Ieong Man Teng, an activist leading the Forefront of Macau Gaming, some pitch managers are being forced to submit a daily list of subordinates who have made a mistake at work, and some frontline workers have been sacked after receiving two to three warning letters. “From the complaints we received, it seems some casinos are issuing 60 to 70 warning letters in a day,” he said.

It is this strictness and workers’ fear of losing their jobs that resulted in fewer workers than expected turning up to the protests, said Ieong and the director of the Gaming Employees Advance Association, Willies Chen.

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