Strike notice issued at Chances

Two sides are “too far apart (in their contract negotiation) at this point” and workers are preparing to withdraw their services

If you’re a gambler, and you live in Campbell River, you may be forced to curb your habit shortly, at least for a while.

On Wednesday, United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (USW 1-1937), who represent the employees of Chances Campbell River, issued a 72-hour strike notice to their employer, Playtime Community Gaming Services Inc.

According to the press release issued by USW 1-1937 about the strike notice, the two sides are “too far apart (in their contract negotiation) at this point” and workers are preparing to withdraw their services.

“It is unfortunate that it has come to this,” said First-Vice President of USW 1-1937, “as our last proposal to the company is less than what they pay to their unionized employees at other casinos operated by playtime.”

According to the union, the employees of the gaming facility “deal with millions and millions of dollars in cash every year, yet the company has been paying minimum wage or slightly above for many years to a large number of these employees.”

“We just want a fair wage that is comparable to other unionized casinos,” the USW 1-1937 Bargaining Committee release said, “so that we can afford to feed our families and provide shelter and benefits that should be afforded workers in this industry.”

Lincoln Reid, Director of Human Resources for Playtime, told the Mirror after strike notice was given that Playtime’s most recent offer to the employees was a 17.5 per cent increase over a four year period in wages and benefits.

“We believe the overall package to be fair and realistic considering all of the circumstances,” Reid said. “Unfortunately, the Union feels differently and at this point seems prepared to put its members out of work in an effort to get even more.

“Any job action will negatively affect the guests at our facility, the livelihoods of our non-union employees, and all of the other sake holders in our business.

“We remain hopeful that the Union will accept our final proposal and avoid any such action.”

Campbell River Mirror

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