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Workers’ Wish-List

Local gaming operators should update their workers’ salaries to the cost of living, maintain workers’ Chinese New Year bonuses and grant compensation leave when holidays fall on workers’ days off, stated an association of workers from gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) during a joint press conference held with the Macau Civil Servant’s Association (ATFPM).
The association, representing 1,000 workers from Galaxy Macau, demanded that with gaming operators’ revenues having begun to increase in year-on-year terms in the second half of 2016, the salaries of gaming workers should be adjusted to account for inflation and increase in the cost of living in the city.
According to the association representatives, the gaming operator usually discusses possible salary increase adjustments of between 2 per cent and 5 per cent in July but failed to do so this year.
The city’s gaming industry saw total gross gaming revenue rise 14.4 per cent year-on-year to MOP18.8 billion (US$2.4 billion) in November, according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), while in the first ten months of the year the average composite consumer price index (CPI) saw an increase of 2.55 per cent year-on-year, according to data from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
The gaming workers representatives also stated that, of the six concessionaires and sub-concessionaires operating in Macau, only Wynn Resorts (Macau) S.A. performed a salary increase this year.
Although not specifying an amount for the wage increase, the association representatives note that it should be in line with the 2.46 per cent increase seen in public servants’ wages, announced by the government in its 2017 Governance Action Lines (LAG).
“Since public employees have already managed a salary increase we would like gaming operators to follow suit. We hope employers take into account inflation, the cost of living and the considerable increase in price of essential goods to update their employees’ salaries,” the ATFPM President and Director, as well as direct-elect Legislator José Pereira Coutinho, told Business Daily.

A fatter red envelope
The Galaxy Macau workers association also demanded gaming operators maintain the Chinese custom of granting a yearly bonus, equivalent to one month’s salary, in the upcoming Chinese New Year from January 27 to February 2.
According to the association, last Chinese New Year gaming operators granted a bonus only equivalent to 65 per cent of the monthly wage, adding MOP2,800 after complaints were received from workers.
“All six gaming operators have had profits so why shouldn’t the venues’ employees get their bonus? We hope for a little bit of effort from gaming companies in giving something extra to their employees,” stated Legislator Coutinho.
The association also stated that compensation holidays should be granted when holidays fall on non-working days, with Legislator Coutinho stating employees in that situation “end up losing one day, something deeply unfair and not correct”.
In response to Business Daily’s enquiries, Galaxy Macau said it would ‘study and take into consideration time-off measures on public holidays that fall on non-working days,’ noting that employees are eligible for a ‘Special Bonus Award’ at ‘Senior Manager grade or below […] as per the rules of the Award’ and have a “Special Share Award” programme in place to award company shares to employees.

[caption id="attachment_92059" align="alignnone" width="640"] ATFPM and Galaxy Workers[/caption]

Not a threat
Legislator Coutinho also told Business Daily that the legalisation of integrated resorts in Japan “raises some concerns” but that he is confident the city’s gaming sector will be able to cope.
“Chinese will still continue to come to the city to gamble. The infrastructure has quality and we still have a privileged position as the only region in China where gambling is legal,” said the legislator.
With 2016 coming to an end, he believes workers are confident that 2017 will be a “better year” as more economic policies are put in place, and infrastructure projects such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, the fourth bridge plan, and policies such as Macau vehicles being allowed to drive to Hengqin come into play.