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Kelowna  

Workers set to strike

Gateway’s Okanagan casino workers will walk off the job this Friday.

More than 675 casino workers at Cascades Kamloops, Cascades Penticton, Playtime Kelowna and Lake City Vernon are set to strike after mediation broke down earlier this week.

“Our members are asking for living wages that would bring them in-line with the industry standard for casino workers in B.C.,” says BC Government and Service Employees’ Union President Stephanie Smith. "We entered mediation with the hope that Gateway would present a reasonable offer in a timely way but we were met with more stall tactics.”

In a vote earlier this month, over 88 per cent of Gateway staff in all four Okanagan casinos voted 93.1 per cent in favour of participating in strike action.
 
“When it became clear that the company was not going to make an acceptable offer, the bargaining committee decided to exercise the strike mandate given to them by the workers," Smith said.
 
Gateway’s Okanagan staff have been trying to negotiate an agreement since the old one expired last year.
 
Smith says the employer’s offer is unacceptable. “The wages Gateway are offering won’t even keep ahead of the planned minimum wage increases.”
 
“These workers are the heart of their casinos. Gateway is a successful company in a highly profitable industry – they can afford to pay their workers what they are worth.”
 
BCGEU members work in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, guest services and maintenance.



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