The President of the Court of Final Appeal of Macau said Friday that in the past judicial year, there were a total of 182 cases of minor labor violations before the lower courts, of which one-third were related to former junket operator Suncity Group.
Suncity closed all of its Macau VIP rooms in December 2021 following the arrest of its CEO, Alvin Chau. In the wake of these closures, the Macao Court of First Appeal received a large number of complaints relating to the recovery of salaries by Suncity employees.
Speaking at the official Opening Ceremony of the Judicial Year, President of the Macao Court of Final Appeal, Sam Hou Fai, said the number of labor misdemeanor cases received in the 2022/23 judicial year had grown by 133% over the prior year period.
“The main reason is that labor disputes arose due to the poor economy during the pandemic or due to other major events that led to poor business conditions or even closure of businesses,” he said.
“For example, labor disputes arising from companies related to Suncity Group accounted for about one-third of the total number of cases.
“The Suncity cases mainly involved dismissal compensation, compensation for advance notice period, unpaid wages, double pay, annual leave and other offences.”
Chau was sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Macau Court of First Instance in January this year – a sentence that was upheld this week despite the Court of Second Instance dropping a previous finding of fraud against he and some former Suncity staff.
The labor disputes arising from the closure of Suncity are now being heard by the Court of First Appeal. In some cases, the Court of First Appeal have ruled that the employers have defaulted on payment of wages.