Laborers threaten to jump from building in wages protest

On July 18, nearly a dozen construction workers started a standoff on top of a future residential building in Cotai to protest against unfair compensation by their employer.

The construction site is located next to Pousada Marina Infante in Cotai. The exteriors of the buildings has been built, and they are still covered by bamboo scaffolding and green nets.

More than 10 workers were seen lingering on the 17th floor of one of the buildings.

The police were notified and a negotiator was sent to the scene. Negotiations lasted at least 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Fire Bureau set up an air cushion as a precautionary measure, and the Labor Affairs Bureau (DSAL) also sent officers to the scene.

A statement from the DSAL did not mention whether any of the laborers were injured in the protest.

The DSAL has since been in touch with the employer and employees for details regarding the standoff.

The employees claimed they had not been offered the right amount of compensation for holidays, overtime, accommodation, dismissal notices and dismissals.

On the other hand, the DSAL were told by the employer that they had abided by laws regarding regular rest days, statutory holidays and overtime payments. The claims were supported by the employment records of certain employees.

The DSAL has pledged to investigate the complaints and safeguard the lawful rights of the employees. If any violations are found during the investigation, the bureau will begin legal proceedings.

In the meantime, the employer has proposed rehiring the employees and handling their individual cases according to the law.

About a year ago, a construction worker from the mainland who worked at the Lisboa Palace site threatened to jump from the 5th floor of the building. The incident lasted an hour and a half, and the worker eventually retreated to safety.

Macau has seen similar incidents in recent years.

In 2016, a group of 10 workers reportedly threatened to jump from the Lisboa Palace construction site in Cotai. They were protesting unpaid and overdue salaries, according to media reports at the time. Staff reporter

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