Coquitlam-based Hard Rock Casino canceled the annual Ultimate Car Show due to the ongoing dispute with its employees. The famous vintage car show which normally features more than 300 classic cars had to take place this weekend but organizers revealed that the event will be back in 2019.
The fifth edition of the yearly Ultimate Car Show was meant to take place on Saturday, however, things did not go as initially planned.
Rick Francoeur, who hosts the show, said that the cancellation of the event had been a difficult decision, especially considering the fact how popular the free event was. He, however, reiterated the organizers’ intention to plan a bigger and better event for the summer of 2019. Mr. Francoeur explained that the event’s organizers did not want to get themselves into an uncomfortable situation considering the workers’ strike, so the cancellation seemed as the most logical choice.
Unfortunately, the cancellation prevented them to raise some funds for their charity partner.
Tentative Agreement with GCGC Rejected by Union Members
About 400 workers of the casino which is currently owned and run by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC) have been on strike since May 11th, 2018. Currently, the gambling venue’s employees are being represented by the BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU), which has been trying to reach a first collective agreement since January 2017.
The Hard Rock Casino workers are protesting against their wages and benefits, which according to them, are too small. In late June, the union revealed that the two parties reached a tentative agreement but workers did not give it the green light. Now, the strike continues, following the rejection of the tentative agreement.
The union members were given the chance to vote on the matter at the beginning of July, however, they decided not to agree on the proposed conditions. The casino remains open but understaffed.
As revealed by the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, one of the main reasons for the rejection of the tentative agreement was a change in the casino operations, under which poker and craps tables were eliminated from the casino offerings. The casino employees who worked on those tables occupied some of the highest-paid positions at the venue, and the union has revealed they were pretty popular among the casino’s customers.
It is true that the fact that craps and poker tables were eliminated does not change the terms of the tentative agreement reached between the casino owners and the workers’ union, which did offer a wage increase. However, the casino still decided to eliminate many of the best-paid workers’ shifts available. According to the president of the BCGEU, Stephanie Smith, the changes made by the employer were simply devastating to workers.
After the rejection of the tentative agreement, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation revealed that it was disappointed with the union members’ decision and shared that further steps and potential options would be considered to put an end to the strike.