An astounding 93.1 per cent vote in favour of strike action.
Vancouver (11 June 2018) — Over 675 members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) working at Gateway Casinos in the Okanagan voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking strike action against their employer.
In a vote held from June 4 to 6, over 88 per cent of Gateway staff in casinos in Kelowna, Kamloops, Penticton and Vernon came out and voted 93.1 per cent in favour of taking strike action.
"Gateway workers in the Okanagan are sending a clear message to their employer: they will not settle for less than the fair wages, benefits and respect they deserve," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.
Gateway Casino refuses to offer comparable wages
Negotiations for a new collective agreement broke off in May after the employer refused to offer wages and benefits that are industry standard at comparable casinos.
Smith says the employer's offer is unacceptable. "The wages Gateway are offering won't even keep ahead of the planned minimum wage increases."
"These workers are the heart of their casinos. Gateway is a successful company in a highly profitable industry — they can afford to pay their workers what they are worth."
Workers just want a fair contract
Strike preparations are now underway, and workers are set to walk off the job unless they receive a new proposal from the employer.
"Gateway Casino workers in the Okanagan are ready to do whatever it takes to get a fair contract with their employer — including strike, if necessary," says Smith.
Gateway's Okanagan staff have been trying to negotiate a new collective agreement since the last one expired in September 2017.
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