Gateway Casinos make deal with striking staff after 19 week layoff
Workers at Gateway Casinos in Canada and management have reached a deal to end a 19 week strike.
The workers union went on strike to drum home their demand for better working conditions and wages. Several efforts to get the issue resolved failed as the two parties maintained their stands until Gateway finally gave in.
Details of the deal, ending the almost four-month strike, struck by the 700 workers is still a secret, awaiting a vote of the workers who had been picketing at Gateway casinos in Penticton, Vernon, Kamloops, and Kelowna all this while.
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However, the terms of the agreement have been approved despite a very close margin. Just 50.7 percent of the workers voted in support of the deal, as some of them believe Gateway disrespected them. The new agreement assures a new four-year deal with an average wage increase of 23.5 percent through the contract. Also, the workers, especially part-timers will enjoy improved benefits.
The president of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) Stephanie Smith, after the deal’s approval, said she was thrilled with the result.
“I am so impressed by the solidarity and courage of our members,” she said.
“They should be proud of what they achieved by sticking together throughout the bargaining process, especially over the past 19 weeks on the picket line.”
Gateway Casinos, which operates 26 gambling venues in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, said they were “pleased with the outcome” of the negotiations.
“We know the past few months have been challenging for all involved and we thank our customers for their patience and loyalty throughout the labour disruption,” the statement read.
“We now turn our full attention back to our business and are committed to a smooth return to regular business over the coming weeks.”