Members of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) working at casinos petitioned BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) this week asking them to ensure fairness in wages and working conditions at casinos across the province.
Workers from several B.C. casinos gathered outside the BCLC office in Vancouver for a rally Monday with BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. After the rally, a delegation entered the office to deliver hundreds of petition cards signed by casino workers to the BCLC.
“Casino workers from across the province have had enough,” says Smith. “We are appealing to BCLC to help ensure fairness across the gaming industry.”
“When companies like Great Canadian Gaming and Gateway Casinos rake in billions of dollars year after year but refuse to pay workers a living wage, there is something wrong with the industry,” Smith continued. “We’re asking BCLC to step in and fix the problems in the gaming sector — starting with the way workers are treated.”
Over 400 BCGEU members at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver have been on strike since May 11, 2018, and over 675 workers at Gateway Casinos in the Okanagan (including Vernon’s Lake City Casino) voted 93.1 per cent in favour of striking last week. Over 1,000 staff working at Gateway’s Grand Villa and Starlight casinos in the lower mainland are also in bargaining with their employer.
“Casino workers are asking for fair wages, benefits and respect on the job,” says Smith. “It’s the staff who make their casinos profitable and they deserve to share in that success.”
The petition, signed by hundreds of casino workers across the province, states as follows:
“Gaming in B.C. suffers from poor management, disrespectful workplace atmosphere, low public perception and confidence, exploitative working conditions and excessive secrecy.
In light of this, we demand that British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) provide:
Immediate intervention to take responsibility for the conduct and management of gaming on behalf of the government as set out in the Gaming Control Act by
Ensuring a fair and speedy resolution to the labour dispute at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver; and
Enforcing fairness across the entire industry.”
BCGEU represents thousands of casino workers in the province. BCGEU members are working in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, guest services, theatres and maintenance.