Gateway’s Okanagan casino workers in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton in British Columbia walked off the job on June 29.
“Our members are asking for living wages that would bring them in-line with the industry standard for casino workers in BC,” said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president. “These workers are the heart of their casinos. Gateway is a successful company in a highly profitable industry; they can afford to pay their staff what they are worth.”
More than 675 members of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) went on strike after mediation broke down, said the union.
In a vote held between June 4 and 6, more than 88 per cent of Gateway staff in all four Okanagan casinos voted 93.1 per cent in favour of taking strike action. On June 25, the union delivered the required 72-hours-notice of strike action, said BCGEU.
Gateway staff have been trying to negotiate a new collective agreement since the last one expired in September 2017.
Negotiations broke off in May after the employer refused to offer wages and benefits that are industry standard at comparable casinos. Both parties met for a few days of mediated talks over the past two weeks but could not reach an agreement on key monetary issues, said the union.
BCGEU members work in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, guest services and maintenance.
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