Contract talks break down for OPSEU security staff at the Rideau Carleton Raceway

“These employees keep everyone at this gaming operation safe and secure. To treat them this way is, in our opinion, completely pathetic.” - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.

Ottawa (21 Jan. 2013) — Thirty-eight security staff, represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE), have voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action if a contract is not reached with the Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots. Members could be on strike as early as 12:01 a.m. on February 7.

“We have already offered to take a wage freeze, which means employee wages will be frozen for a total five years,” said union negotiator Craig McVeigh. “All the staff here want is to have their benefits, which are below security staff at all other OLG gaming facilities, on par with other security staff. The total cost for all 38 staff is only $4,000, yet the employer refuses to move on this issue.”

The largest issue though is parking fees. Currently, there are no parking fees at the Raceway. But if a new owner takes over and moves the facility downtown, parking could cost as much as $20 per day.

“Security staff earn less than $20 per hour,” McVeigh said. “These parking charges would reduce their income by 12.5 per cent, which is a massive hit. This is not a cost item for the employer…it’s additional revenue, and they want to claw it out of their own employees. They should be ashamed of that.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas believes that the gaming operation, which earns $142 million per year in revenue, is trying to make itself as attractive as possible for the new buyer, possibly Caesar’s Entertainment Inc. “Rideau Carleton cares more about the sale of the business than the welfare of their employees, and their actions at the bargaining table prove that,” Thomas said. “These employees keep everyone at this gaming operation safe and secure. To treat them this way is, in our opinion, completely pathetic.”

Talks are set to resume on February 6 with the assistance of a provincial mediator.

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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