Having employees go on strike is definitely not the way to begin the year for any business. For one, it is never a good look at the company. Two, it ultimately affects the revenue earned by the company. Unfortunately, the employees at NagaWorld have put the company in this situation. Yes, they have down their tools.
According to media reports also highlighted in an article published by calvinayre.com, close to 3,000 employees at NagaWorld participated in the strike on January 9. NagaCorp, which runs NagaWorld, gave a statement to the press on January 10, saying the strike was illegal.
The company’s take is that since only a small proportion of the total 8,200 employees at the establishment were on strike, NagaCorp asserted that operations at the group were running as normal.
Internal reports also claim that the job positions held by the striking employers can remain stale until the matter is resolved. After holding a series of meetings about the issue, the board of directors hopes the strike will not have a negative impact on the business operations of the group. What they fear however, is the fact that other non-striking employees may decide to follow the trend.
The employees give failure of negotiations as their reason for the strike. The representative of the employees, NagaWorld Union, has completely refused to participate in any negotiations with the NagaCorp until one of their own, Chhim Sithar is reinstated. Sithar was suspended on September 20, 2019, after she was found giving away company t-shirts that were meant for sale. The demands by the union to have her reinstated have fallen on deaf ears. In retaliation, the NagaWorld Union has been walking out on any negotiations initiated by NagaCorp. The union is responsible for airing the demands of the employees to their employer, including better pay and benefits.
In their defense, NagaCorp pointed out that their employee compensation plan is one of the best, if not the best in Cambodia. They offer their employees competitive salaries as well as cash bonuses. Besides, they have recently initiated a language incentive program and free unlimited meals for all employees. In addition, they have opened a retail store, NagaMart, which gives NagaWorld employees amazing discounts on household items. So instead of giving Sithar her job back or giving in to the employees’ salary increment demands, NagaCorp is using the Cambodian courts to declare the current strike as illegal and uncalled for.
The Cambodian government and shareholders may not see a problem with the current standoff, as NagaWorld makes too much money for them to side with the employees. During the recent G2E Asia at the Philippines conference, Sudhir Kale noted that angry employees result in bad customer experiences, result in reduced revenue.
This might not be a huge concern to NagaCorp as it operates as a monopoly over Phnom Penh. However, the strike may hurt the company in other unexpected avenues. NagaCorp will definitely be left behind by its international competitors, who are treating their employees better.