Casino News

Manitoba Casino Workers Accept New Contract

Casino employees in Manitoba will not go out on strike these winter holidays confirms the labour union. In a recent statement, Unifor Local 144 which represents over 750 staff members at three Winnipeg gaming properties, revealed that its members have voted to ratify the latest contract proposal from Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries. Hence, avoiding a potential strike.

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.

Strikes Have been Avoided

Earlier this week, the labour union announced that it has managed to negotiate a tentative agreement with the Crown corporation for its members. On Thursday they voted 93% in favour of accepting the latest proposal from the employer. The union represents over 750 workers at McPhillips Station Casino, Club Regent Casino, and the Shark Club Casino.

Previously employees voted to go out on strike if a fair deal with MLL had not been agreed upon until December 23, 2023. These employees have been lacking a collective agreement since June 2022. They work at the three casinos as dealers, cashiers, slot attendants, security, customer service and grounds employees as well as skilled trade workers.

On Thursday, December 21, 2023, Unifor National representative Suzanne King commented that a new collective agreement was long overdue. She noted that the workers have been left without a compact for a year and a half, but the union is proud of its members who voted in favour of the strike mandate as a leverage tactic against the employer and now getting the deserved contract.

The Manitoba Government and General Employees Union also revealed that around 200 food and beverage staff members at two casinos have agreed to ratify an eight-year contract. The deal features wage bumps varying from 16% to more than 40%. It also includes increased shift premiums and signing bonuses in the range of CA$600 to CA$1,800.

Province Willing to Consider New First Nation Casinos

There have been plenty of developments in Manitoba’s gambling industry over the last week or two. 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. This paves the way for a gambling expansion in the province, including a First Nation-run site.

Premier Wab Kinew commented that the government is willing to consider a First Nations-run casino in Winnipeg while noting that the province is open to working on an economic reconciliation with tribes. Currently, the process is in very early stages, but the premier urged tribes to contact officials and kick off discussions on the topic.

Source: Treusch, Adam “Casino workers approve new contractsThe Free Press, December 21, 2023