In Macau, casino workers reportedly joined a protest yesterday over a government plan that would alter the city’s Labour Relations Law in order to give private sector firms the right to ask their employees to work over ‘mandatory’ public holidays.

Sizeable crowd:

According to a report from GGRAsia, approximately 1,000 people gathered in the former Portuguese enclave on Sunday afternoon to voice their opposition to the planned legislative change amid fears that the alteration could lead to them losing money and being prevented from spending time with family and friends.

Holiday forfeiture possibility:

The source reported that the suggested modification to the Labour Relations Law would allow non-state employers to require staff members to designate three ‘mandatory’ public holidays each year as normal work days. In exchange, such employees would be able to receive a trio of normal days off in lieu although their remuneration would remain unaltered.

As currently written, Macau’s Labour Relations Law requires private sector employers to honor all ‘mandatory’ public holidays although staff members that are paid monthly can choose to work in exchange for an additional day’s pay. Such workers are also purportedly entitled to a compensatory rest day within one month although this can be voluntarily surrendered in exchange for a daily rate of remuneration.

Additional demands:

GGRAsia added that the protest, which was organized by the New Macau Gaming Staff Rights Association, moreover asked the government to designate Christmas Day as a ‘mandatory’ public holiday and increase the current minimum number of weekly mandated rest days from one to two.

Casino firms’ pledge:

The protests reportedly came despite assurances from all of Macau’s six licensed casino operators, which encompass Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, MGM China Holdings Limited, SJM Holdings Limited, Wynn Macau Limited and the Sands China Limited subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, that they would not be forcing their workers into honoring the proposed scheme.