The negotiations which were set to find a solution to the dispute between Gateway Casinos and nearly 700 members of the British Columbia Government and Service Employee’s Union (BCGEU) was ceased this weekend. The mediation process was terminated on Saturday afternoon after the strike of the casino workers has been going on for a few weeks.
The talks between the parties have been on and off since June 29th, when Gateway Casinos’ workers went officially on strike. The worker union’s members have called the casino managers to increase their wages in correspondence to the normal living wages in the country, as well as to come up with some actual solutions in terms of the working situation and have more respect on these workers’ jobs.
There have been visible picket lines which have taken over the boundaries of three Okanagan Gateway Casinos situated in Vernon, Kelowna, and Penticton, as well as one situated in Kamloops.
For the time being, no new date for resuming the negotiations between the casino owners and the union representing the workers have been announced.
Gateway Casinos Call Wage Increase Demands “Unreasonable”
The beginning of July brought some new hopes that the negotiation talks between the Gateway Casinos employees who were on strike and Gateway Casinos could be given a new start later that week. At the time when such media reports emerged, the British Columbia Government and Service Employee’s Union had asked for negotiation talks to be held from July 9th to July 11th, with a spokesperson of the union saying that the representatives of the casino workers had been ready for the next stage of the talks.
As previously revealed by Casino Reports, nearly 700 casino workers from the company’s casinos in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops and Penticton walked off their jobs at the end of June, as they were not satisfied with their wages and working conditions provided by the casinos.
For the time being, a casino worker’s starting salary at the gambling venues of Gateway Casinos is equal to the minimum British Columbia wage which is estimated at CA$12.65 an hour. The union representing the interests of the casino workers has insisted that that wage is too small and required an increase to CA$18.63 an hour. Gateway Casinos, on the other hand, has stated that the hourly wages received by casino workers have also been supplemented by tips received from the employees. The company has described the demanded wage increase as “unreasonable” for any business.
Previously, the casino owners have also called for the employees who disagree with the strike to make that clear to the union representing the rest of the workers. Despite the casinos remained open at the time of the strike, it worked on reduced hours and was understaffed, with the games and services provided also being limited.