On December 2, the first virtual UNI Gaming Apro Meeting was held via Zoom. Around 30 participants from 6 countries (Bangladesh, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines and South Korea) participated the meeting. The meeting focused on the current situation and challenges in the gaming industry.
The impact of COVID19 pandemic in the sector has been distressful. Massive lay-offs are a big concern to most countries in the region like Philippines, Malaysia and Nepal to name a few. The common issues raised were job losses, lack of the social dialogue, health and safety of workers including verbal abuse and all forms of sexual harassment.
Rajendra Acharya, UNI Apro Regional Secretary, mentioned in his report that in the regional context in Asia Pacific that there is a deficit of union rights space wherein the right to organize and fight for rights were limited. Pandemic has been used against unions to weaken workers’ representation. He mentioned the regional strategic priorities – organizing, network building and union representation – as a way forward to fight the precariousness and violations at workplaces.
Giedre Lelyte, UNI Gaming Head of Department, stressed the industry could recover and develop only if there was tripartite dialogue (with unions, government institutions and casino companies). She said UNI Gaming called on all gaming authorities and the employers to enter into the dialogue with the respective unions to ensure all workers could get back to their workplaces and continue working safely.
UNI Gaming and UNI Apro are committed to support the gaming affiliates in the region in their campaigns and social dialogue to ensure workers’ rights and to lead the way negotiating for safe reopenings of the gaming establishments.