Cascades Casino general manager Mike Magnusson at the grand opening of the casino in 2017. — Image Credit: Kristi Patton

Gateway Casinos ‘frustrated and disappointed’ about strike vote

Cascades Casino Penticton laid out what they believe is at stake should employees go on strike

In an open letter, Cascades Casino Penticton laid out what they believe is at stake should employees go on strike.

“We are very frustrated and disappointed that the union has taken a strike vote. The fact is we have made extensive efforts to meet with the union to get a deal for our employees for many months now,” it states in the letter.

On Monday, union workers from several B.C. casinos gathered outside the B.C. Lottery Corporation office in Vancouver for a rally and then delivered hundreds of petition cards signed by casino workers to the BCLC. More than 675 members of the BCGEU employed at Gateway Casinos in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops and Penticton voted 93.1 per cent in favour of strike action.

Related: Casino workers petition BCLC for fairness

“Casino workers from across the province have had enough,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. “We are appealing to BCLC to help ensure fairness across the gaming industry.”

Cascades Casino Penticton said the union (who represents thousands of workers in the province that are employed to run table games, as slot attendants, cashers, in the count room, kitchen, security, guest services, theatres and maintenance) refused to meet with them until early in 2018 and after “several days of bargaining they walked away from the table after proposing a shocking 62 per cent average increase in wages with some positions increasing over 80 per cent, on top of significant increases to benefits.” Negotiations for a new collective agreement broke off in May.

Related: Gateway casino workers ready to strike

Casino workers state that gaming in B.C. suffers from poor management, disrespectful workplace atmosphere, low public perception and confidence, exploitative working conditions among other issues.

The Cascades Casino letter states that Smith has claimed the casino service providers are making billions of dollars and that statement is false and that 88 cents of every dollar played in B.C. goes back into the province and funds services like health care and education. Gateway Casinos said they have invested in over $70 million and created more than 400 new jobs across the Thompson-Okanagan.

Gateway said they are also an active corporate citizen, providing meals to those affected by wildfires and fire relief efforts through GatewayGives — their community and charitable program.

“We know that a strike will be harmful to our employees and our customers — therefore, Gateway is serious about getting an agreement and have applied for mediation and we are hopeful that the union comes to mediation on June 15 with more reasonable expectations so that a resolution can be achieved,” it states in the letter.

Gateway also stated they are committed to remaining open regardless of the strike outcome.


Kristi Patton | Editor

KristiPatton

Send Kristi Patton an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Intersection getting safety upgrade

Be prepared for traffic changes in Penticton’s industrial area

Summerland housing issues raised at candidate forum

High housing costs, low vacancy rates and lack of affordable housing addressed

Don’t be dazed and confused about cannabis legalization

Sitting down with an Okanagan lawyer to clear the haze of marijuana rules

Hero campaign raises $24,000 for Okanagan non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Your morning news in 90: Oct. 17, 2018

Tune in for 90 seconds to get the top headlines for the Okanagan, Shuswap and Similkameen.

VOTE: Nature in Focus reader’s choice photo contest

The Penticton Western News Reader’s Choice photo contest

Who’s running in Penticton’s election?

Candidates for the Penticton municipal and school board election

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Okanagan College dives into cannabis courses

The college has adapted its programs in Kelowna

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Most Read