Casino workers located in Macau would like to see a salary increase for their efforts. Employees are represented by various associations who have now asked the city government to help persuade operators of casinos to raise the amount of salaries for casino employees.

During a meeting on Monday with the Economy and Finance Secretary Lionel Leong Vai Tax, the issues of pay raises was discussed, according to Jornal Tribuna de Macau. So far, only the Sands China Ltd has given pay raises in 2016, which started this month and was announced publicly.

Full time employees of Sands China were earning MOP12,000, which is the equal to $1,500 in US dollars each month. Now, those who qualify are earning an additional MOP500 each month. This is an increase of about 4 to 6 percent each month for workers who are eligible. Employees who already earn more than MOP12,000 each month with the Sands will now gain a 2% increase which will be set at a monthly ceiling of MOP45,000 after the increase has been added.

Six casino operators of Macau have announced they will be awarding staff bonuses this year, in some instances with programs that had been disclosed before the slump started in Macau. The government has promised that public servants in the city will see a 2.5% increase in pay this year.

Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff Association Directory, Choi Kam Fu, stated that during the meeting on Monday, representatives of the casino workers asked the government to help convincing five additional casino operators that they needed to raise salaries for 2016 as well. According to Choi, Leong agreed that he would pass on the concerns of salaries to the gaming operators.

The Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff Assocaition works with the Macau Federation of Trade Unions, the largest labor group in the city. In January, the association along with two other groups who are representing the workers of casinos, sent out letters to the casino operators of Macau calling for bonuses as well as the increase in salary for this year.

Representatives of the workers argue that even though Macau is not doing well in the casino industry, an increase in salary would not add too much additional pressure to the gaming firm’s finances. Analysists disagree as they believe a rise in labor costs would weigh on the margins of casino operators of Macau as they deal with a downturn in the market.