River Rock Casino in Richmond made headlines once again after reports emerged that 99.5% of casino employees voted for the strike. Surprisingly, once again, wages are hot buttons. After 99.5% of unionized workers backed the strike, the majority of River Rock casino workers will go on strike again. The information was released by the British Columbia government and the Service Workers’ Union (BCGEU), one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia.
BCGEU, which represents its employees, explained that casino workers are fighting for fair wages and better working conditions. BCGEU Chairman Stephanie Smith noted that employees are prepared to fight desperately for their rights. She stated that the workers were now preparing for a strike. Mr Smith elaborated that the next step in resolving the dispute involves a meditation process between the two parties.
Why River Rock Casino Workers Are Complaining
In January 2016, River Rock workers decided to join the union, and for more than a year, they have been trying to renegotiate working conditions with their employers, or more specifically, the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (the company behind River Rock Casino), many of whom are fighting to improve health insurance.
In May last year, casino workers proposed a wage increase, and in July, Great Canada proposed further cuts in wages in response to employees’ demands, and more than 1,100 workers announced they would leave their jobs for a strike.
Casinos, food and beverage workers and more than 400 casino workers who now handle everything from food preparation to card transactions plan to go on a second strike without concessions, which goes without saying will negatively affect casino operations and their reputation as employers.
Casino workers expressed dissatisfaction with increased profits while the gambling operator refused to raise wages for employees, and in January this year, the Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation acquired the operation of GTA Bundle, which it rates as the biggest prize as part of modernizing casino operations.