In Macau, Tuesday reportedly saw around 150 people attend a rally being held outside the Galaxy Macau hotel and casino to protest against current working conditions inside the Cotai Strip property and demand that its workers be paid an additional annual bonus.

According to a report from GGRAsia, the action organized by a group called Professional for Gaming of New Macau was prompted after hundreds of Galaxy Macau employees lodged complaints with the enclave’s Labour Affairs Bureau following last month’s Typhoon Hato. The category-three tropical cyclone struck the region on August 23 and some staff purportedly complained that the period had seen them subjected to unpaid overtime and insufficient rest times.

Owned by Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, Galaxy Macau reportedly announced last week that it would be forward-paying an “annual discretionary bonus” to staff members, which is to amount to an extra month’s salary. However, protesters purportedly demanded that the casino operator regularly compensate employees for a “14th month” and change some existing workplace practices.

“The protest today is against the harsh way Galaxy Entertainment [Group Limited] treats its employees,” a worker at Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited’s five-star StarWorld Hotel property identified as “Wan” reportedly told GGRAsia at the rally. “Now [Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited] is giving us in advance [part of] the bonus from year-end but we are saying no. This bonus was supposed to be ours anyway. It [did it] just to keep our mouths shut.”

Cloee Chao, President for Professional for Gaming of New Macau, reportedly used the occasion to hand over a petition to Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited management that moreover called on the firm to cancel an internal staff rating system and bring to an end a policy that requires an on-duty dealer to continue to deal rounds of baccarat even if their table has no players. GGRAsia explained that the appeal furthermore called on the casino’s operator to do away with a warning letter procedure and clarify the firm’s employee promotion practices.

GGRAsia reported that Chao is to stand as a candidate for election to the Macau Legislative Assembly later this month and also implored Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited to close the Horizon VIP Room inside the Galaxy Macau. This high-roller venue is located above the main casino floor and features an area where table-side players may smoke.

“Let’s give the company a week and see what its responses are,” Chao reportedly told GGRAsia. “If it does nothing, then we are going to gather again next weekend.”

Chao reportedly added that any subsequent action would more than likely take place outside the StarWorld Hotel and could involve protesters “blocking” the staff entrance.

“In responding to media enquiries about a non-Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited employee organizing a protest today, the company wishes not to comment on this incident,” read a statement from Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited reportedly sent to GGRAsia. “However, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited reaffirms that the company is always willing to listen to its employees and is committed to following up on any reasonable suggestions and making any necessary improvements.”