ccording to The Macau Post Daily, Tam made the remarks to reporters after an unrelated meeting in his office with representatives of the Macau Taiwan Chamber of Commerce (TCCM).
Asked by reporters for his comments on local unions’ growing calls for a specific law banning non-locals from being hired as croupiers and pit supervisors in the city’s gaming industry, Tam said the government was aware of the appeals.
Several thousand croupiers took part in a protest on Thursday urging the government to come up with legal measures to protect their jobs. Last week, the influential Macau Federation of Trade Unions (commonly known as Gung Luen) started a signature-collection campaign to press the government to draft a bill banning non-local employees from working as croupiers and pit supervisors.
Any bill drafted by the government must be submitted to the legislature for debate and vote. Responding to the local croupiers’ calls for more job security, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On reaffirmed last week that the government would not change its long-standing stance that only locals are allowed to work as croupiers and pit supervisors.
Talking to reporters, Tam said that there was already a law in place regulating the import of non-local workers. The policy secretary, whose vast portfolio includes supervision of the labour market and gaming industry, stressed that without specific government approval no enterprises are allowed to hire non-local employees.
He also pointed out that the government has the right to permit or refuse any enterprises from employing non-local workers. He questioned whether the government could order itself by law to ban non-locals from working as croupiers and pit supervisors.
He added, “However, the government will study the matter from the aspects of legislative logic and techniques.” He was quick to add that it was “worth discussing "the issue".