Galaxy Entertainment in Trouble with Macau Labor Union

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Galaxy Entertainment owns one of six casino properties operating in Macau, China. According to a recent report on by Kevin Horridge, it is now facing claims from the local labor union that it is forcing older employees to retire at the age of 60.

The issue first surfaced late last week when it was discovered that the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association had petitioned the Special Administrative Region’s Labor Affairs Bureau with a claim that Galaxy has engaged in the practice of terminating employees in an improper manner. The report states that Galaxy has ‘developed a scheme to coerce staff members to voluntarily sign papers that terminates their employment’. The workers union claims that several of the casino’s employees have been given legal documents that are printed in English stating that they are willingly resigning their position with the company.

 The report goes on to state that the ‘New Macau Gaming Staff Rights President Cloee Chao said in the petition that four workers were pressured into signing the contract without understanding what it said. They reportedly later learned that they had unknowingly agreed to resign their employment’. In a direct quote from Ms. Chao she stated, “The workers don’t know English.” She also went on to add that Galaxy management later told these employees that by signing these legal documents they were resigning their positions voluntarily. Galaxy Entertainment recently announced that it was terminating its voluntary compensation program and additional benefits package for workers that retired at the age of 60. As many as 40 Galaxy employees voiced their concerns with these changes. That is when they were asked to ‘voluntarily’ sign an employee termination document. 

This report noted that ‘in a statement to GGRAsia, Galaxy maintains that team members aged 60 and older are encouraged to stay in the workforce’. Social welfare benefits in Macau go into effect at age 65, but there is no mandatory retirement age in effect for private sector employees such as the ones that work for Galaxy. Chinese billionaire Lui Che Woo is the principal owner of Galaxy Entertainment. He is one of several business executives looking to expand his real money casino operations into Japan as that country expands the legalization of real money gambling. Galaxy has already partnered with the casino hotel company Societe des Bains de Mer (SBM) to jointly bid for one of the highly sought-after gambling permits available with Japan’s planned expansion of casino gambling. SBM is based in Monaco and it is the parent company of the storied Monte Carlo Casino.

Other gaming giants looking to expand their footprint into Japan include Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, Hard RockWynn Resorts, Melco Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.  The expansion of real money casino gambling in Japan is still a sensitive issue with a sizable portion of the country’s citizens voicing their opposition to commercial casinos entering the market. Wynn Resorts is already facing an uphill battle for approval with Steve Wynn’s personal issues. With this latest development, Galaxy could also receive a black mark for its questionable labor practices.

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