Casino News

Manitoba Lotteries and Unifor Strike Tentative Agreement

Earlier this month, casino employees of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries voted in favour of going on strike, as they called for better conditions. But most recently, Unifor Local 144, which represents over 750 of those workers, announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the employer. Unionized members will now vote on the new contract.

Unifor is the country’s largest union in the private sector, as it is responsible for over 315,000 employees in every major area of the economy. The labour union represents all working people and their voices, and fights for equality and social justice across the country and abroad, while also aiming for progressive change and a better future for its members.

Tentative Agreement is Now Found

In a statement, Unifor National President, Lana Payne, commented members at MLL had shown to the employer that they were fed up with the status quo. She added that the workers’ solidarity and skilled bargaining have provided a contract they can be proud of. Later this week, the workers will sit down and vote on whether to ratify the proposed agreement or not.

Currently, the labour union represents more than 750 staff members at McPhillips Station Casino, Club Regent Casino, and the Shark Club Casino. These workers include dealers, cashiers, slot attendants, security personnel, maintenance staff, customer service representatives and Skilled Trades staffers. More details on the contract will be revealed, once ratified.

Meanwhile, Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director praised the negotiation committee for using the leverage provided by the members’ strike vote to earn a new and fair agreement for the workers. Previously, employees voted to go on strike, if their demands were not met, and were preparing to take action on December 23, 2023.

Manitoba Willing to Explore Gambling Expansion

Over the last two weeks, there have been plenty of interesting developments in Manitoba’s gambling industry. For starters, the province’s newly elected NDP government has recently lifted a provision to halt new gaming operations set by the former Progressive Conservative government in 2018. Hence, paving the way for more land-based casinos in the province.

Also, the local government made some changes to the MLL’s board. The new members include Jeff Traeger, president of a local United Food and Commercial Workers union, who will now serve as chair. It also issued a mandate letter to the board saying that a pause on new gambling facilities will be lifted while reconciliation with Indigenous people is also part of the plans.

But these changes are also good news for Manitoba First Nations. Premier Wab Kinew commented that the government is willing to consider a First Nations-run casino in Winnipeg. Previously, tribal nations have expressed their aspirations to launch a casino in the capital, but these plans were rejected due to the existence of provincially run casinos in the area.

Source: Boyko, Ian “Unifor members at Manitoba Lotteries reach tentative agreementUnifor, December 18, 2023