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Macau casino dealers plan industrial action for first time

Published on Aug 30, 2014 10:12 AM
Workers from Macau's six major casinos march past Casino Lisboa during a demonstration in Macau on Aug 25, 2014. Workers are demanding higher wages and for the government to reconsider a policy that would import more foreign workers to the industry. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Casino dealers working in some of gambling hub Macau's most popular casinos are set to start industrial action on Saturday for the first time in the Chinese territory as discontent over salaries and working benefits spreads.

A group of dealers working for SJM Holdings, the gaming stalwart run by the family of former Macau king pin Stanley Ho, are planning to show up late for their shift while others are planning not to work any overtime, a union leader told Reuters.

"This will pause table game operations," said Ieong Mang Teng, a baccarat dealer and head of the Forefront of Macau Gaming, a labour group that has organised frequent protests over the past two months to demand higher pay and benefits.

Macau is racing to build eight new resorts in the next three years but labour strains look set to intensify. Workers are demanding higher pay and threatening strikes at a time when operators already face a labour shortage.

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