"On behalf of our members, I want to thank our friends in the communities of Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon and our friends in the labour movement for their support during the strike." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Thompson Okanagan (20 Nov. 2018) — Nearly 700 members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) working in Gateway Casinos in the Thompson-Okanagan voted to ratify a new contract with their employer, ending a 19-week strike.
Close ratification votes mean more work to be done
"I am so impressed by the solidarity and courage of our members," said Stephanie Smith, President of the BCGEU/NUPGE. "They should be proud of what they achieved by sticking together throughout the bargaining process, especially over the past 19 weeks on the picket line."
The 4-year deal includes an average 23.5 per cent wage increase over the life of the agreement and improved benefits — particularly for part-time workers.
"Our members are going back to work, which is great news," Smith continued. "But the ratification vote was close, which means there is more work to be done in all 4 of these workplaces. That work starts as soon as the picket lines come down."
BCGEU/NUPGE thanks communities for support
Casino workers headed back to work over the weekend as operations resume to pre-strike levels.
"On behalf of our members, I want to thank our friends in the communities of Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon and our friends in the labour movement for their support during the strike," said Smith.
The BCGEU/NUPGE represents staff spread across Gateway's 4 casinos in the Thompson-Okanagan: Playtime Casino in Kelowna, Lake City Casino in Vernon, and Cascades Casinos in Kamloops and Penticton. BCGEU/NUPGE members work in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, guest services and maintenance.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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