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Big win for BCGEU members at Starlight Casino

The BCGEU has won an important arbitration victory for members at Starlight Casino that includes significant back pay.

In December 2014, Starlight Casino informed the BCGEU that it would no longer be offering poker as part of its casino operations. Starlight then issued layoff notices to its poker dealers. The layoff notice gave the laid off workers three choices: a recall option to a different position with significantly reduced wages (for 29 dealers this amounted to a 14 per cent wage reduction of approximately $2.37 per hour), a return to work as a casual employee (with less pay and no job security) or an end to their employment at the casino.

Our union filed a grievance challenging both the layoffs and the wage reduction.

On January 8, 2016, the arbitrator found in favour of our union. The collective agreement was breached and the employer did not have the authority to violate the payment structure it had negotiated with our union.

In the decision, the arbitrator noted that our union had offered to begin collective bargaining before the expiry of the collective agreement in response to the casino's concerns about declining poker revenues.

The message to Starlight Casino was loud and clear: our union will take action when an employer disrespects and breaches the clear language of a BCGEU collective agreement.