Casino Workers Agree to Mediation with Casino
Following an employee vote in favor of going on strike, the casino employee’s union for employees in Okanagan has agreed to mediation with the casino.
The vote to strike passed with more than 93 percent of employees voting in favor of the next step. In response to the vote, the Gateway Casino issued a statement saying it was frustrated and disappointed the employees intended to take that route to resolution. It further explained casino officials believed the casino had made “… extensive efforts to meet with the union to get a deal for our employees for many months now. ”
The most current employee contract expired in September 2017. Bargaining meeting agreements were scheduled for the beginning of 2018, but had gotten nowhere. In mid-May, the union and the casino had still not reached an agreement. The primary point of contention was wages.
Casino officials were reportedly “shocked” by the request for an increase in wages of anywhere from 60 to 80 percent, and called the request “unreasonable for any business.”
The president of the union claimed the sizeable increase was necessary to bring Gateway employees to the wage level found elsewhere in the casino industry.
Both sides are looking forward to the mediation attempt and are hoping it is enough to get an agreement.
According to the union president, “The casino industry is a profitable one, and those profits are reliant on the workers who provide the experience for casino clientele and all we are asking for is that casinos recognize workers’ contributions.”
Gateway issued its own statement, claiming it is “committed to having respectful discussions with the union to achieve a mutually agreeable contract that is reasonable and responsible” for both it and its employees.