Ontario Public Service Employees Union recently expressed an opinion regarding the uncertain situation Canadians are in right now. President Warren Thomas made it clear that the layoffs involving casino workers associated with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation have been disappointing especially when the novel coronavirus has paralyzed many industries. Casino venues across the province were shut down earlier this month.
Ontario is one of the provinces witnessing a higher number of individuals contracting the highly contagious COVID-19, as the daily tests show. Some 688 individuals across the province have contracted the novel coronavirus. March 25 witnessed 100 new cases confirmed, while the death toll reached 13 individuals. The spread of the virus meant that all non-essential businesses had to close for the foreseeable future.
Casino Workers Face Layoffs
Casino venues across the province were among the first locations to close for two weeks earlier this month, eyeing March 29 as a reevaluation day. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation made it clear that this is the responsible decision to make in this dynamically changing situation. However, serving layoffs is frowned upon by the labor union protecting the interest of the casino staff members relying on this support.
Notices have been recently issued, informing the casino workers that layoffs would have to take place. President Thomas said that he was shaking his head upon learning about the plans Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has in store. He pointed out that the casino privatization process also commonly referred to as modernization process that has been in progress in Ontario has had a negative effect on the field itself.
Ottawa is the region that has experienced the layoffs notices served to casino workers over the past few weeks and this move has outraged the labor union protecting their employment. The Crown corporation has made it clear that the gaming industry is about to experience severe blow as a result of the complete shutdown of casino brick-and-mortar venues and gambling halls.
Protection is Needed
It all comes to the bottom line which should not be harmed after the lockdown is over, something the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation wants to achieve through layoffs. The labor union claims that the individuals associated with it should be offered full wage during these trying times, as well as full benefits to support them during the time they have to practice social distancing and attempt to flatten the curve on a provincial level.
Mr. Thomas further makes it clear that the Crown corporation should be working on the protection of jobs, instead of resorting to layoffs as a way to protect the figures that would be listed in the financial report at the end of the fiscal year. He also made it clear that the government is currently unable to provide protection for the said casino workers in the Ottawa region facing layoffs.
They come in the light of the recent announcement of OLG President and CEO Steven Rigby’ resignation. Speculations regarding his severance package have been made over the weeks ahead of that move, but the actual figure was revealed only once it was official. On his way out, he became eligible for CA$847,000 in cash for the contributions he has made across the years.