Casino News

Loto-Québec Addresses Current Casino Strike Situation

This week, Loto-Québec issued a statement to address the current strikes across its gambling facilities across Quebec. The Crown corporation expressed its dissatisfaction with the labour union representing the workers, pursuing an indefinite general strike in a situation where an agreement can be found. The employer has already offered quite generous terms to the staffers.

Unionized employees from the casinos across Quebec first went out on a five-day strike during the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. However, shortly after that, the staff members voted in favour of an indefinite general strike. They demand better wages to match the rising cost of living in the province and an additional CA$1 per hour of work.

The Crown’s Stance

In its press release, the Crown agency explained the union requested salary increases of 24% over 3 years, which according to the Crown, would be more than double what the employer awarded its other employees in 2022. In addition to that, the union also wants to double the evening, night and weekend bonuses, on top of the salary bumps.

The employer remarked that it offers great working conditions to its employees, and noted casino salaries are well above the reference market and more than 20% for the majority of jobs categories. It also reminded that most CSN members benefitted from good financial results from the incentive compensation program to which they have access.

Furthermore, the company claimed that as with any other organization, it was a subject of issues of attractiveness and retention. It also stated that despite those problems, its attractive conditions have allowed for more than 300 people to start work at casinos since April 1, 2023, while also pointing out that almost 30% of its employees have 25 years or more of seniority.

Lastly, the corporation reported that during the strikes Casino Lac-Leamy, the Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivières and the Salon de jeux de Québec work during their usual business hours. But the Montreal, Charlevoix, and Mont-Tremblant locations operate under modified schedules while some amenities are limited. More information can be found on its official web page.

After the start of the general strike, Riccardo Scopelleti, president of the Casino de Montréal-CSN security workers, said the negotiations stalled. Meanwhile, the union argued that the Crown corporation makes exceptional returns and that its staff should also benefit from it. It pointed out that management bagged over CA$650,000 in bonuses in 2023.

Professional Staff Inked New Contract

As mentioned, in 2022, Loto-Québec managed to agree new collective agreement with its professional staff. However, quickly after their protests, the employer proposed terms which were accepted by 96% of the unionized professionals. Employees then returned to their positions allowing the Crown agency to resume normal services.

Source: “Strike by CSN-affiliated employees in casinos: Exceptional union demandsLoto-Québec, July 5, 2023