Crown Casino Melbourne workers took to the streets late last week in a bid to improve pay and working conditions on Friday and Saturday night shifts.
Chanting slogans and banging drums along the Southbank promenade, which is defined by Crown’s huge entertainment complex, the protesters said they wanted a new deal from the casino.
“We know that what we’re asking for is just fair recognition for the contribution to the success of our casino,” croupier Zoe Riddle told Fairfax Media.
“This is just the beginning. We’re going to keep the pressure up on Crown until they put a real deal on the table. Tonight there are hundreds of us but we know we’re backed by thousands of workers here at the casino… we are stronger than ever and we have the public support. We’re going to win,” she said.
Crown workers are demanding a new allowance of up to $3 per hour for shifts between 7pm Friday and 7am Saturday, and between 7pm Saturday and 7am Sunday, which are the casino’s two busiest times.
There are also calls for a 5 percent pay rise per year for the length of the new deal.
The protesters say they are fuelled by what they consider to be inadequate compensation for working on weekends.
“It’s hard for me to even have a personal life,” one worker said.
The campaign for better pay comes despite Crown Casino offering pay and conditions above and beyond the standard award.
“Crown employees continue to receive higher pay and conditions than the tourism and hospitality industry,” a Crown spokesperson said.
“Since 2013, Crown Melbourne has added more than 1000 new jobs and provided existing staff with valuable training and career development opportunities.”
Crown Casino offers staff a number of services at discounted rates. A 24-hour convenience store is available on-site, while an employee-only gym services workers at a heavily reduced rate.
Each staff member also receives one free meal per shift from an employee-only buffet, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner around the clock. There is also free off-site parking with transfer to the complex for all workers.