Casino workers negotiate new contracts - BCGEU

(Burnaby/New Westminster) Over 1,200 members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Gateway's Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby and Starlight Casino in New Westminster voted to accept new collective agreements putting them among the highest paid casino workers in the province.
"These workers stuck together to set the industry standard," said BCGEU Treasurer Paul Finch.
"Our members told Gateway they needed to do better this time and, in the end, they achieved solid contracts with significant wage increases and many other ground-breaking provisions."
The four-year contracts include a weighted average of 15 percent wage increases over the life of the agreement with some of the lowest-paid workers receiving over 20 percent increases.
"In this round, the bargaining committee prioritized lifting wages for lower-paid workers," said Finch.
"With the cost of living rising amid a housing crisis across the province it is vital that employers, especially in the highly-profitable casino sector, pay wages that allow all their employees to live where they work."
The contracts also include improvements to sick leave, a benefits plan for part-time employees, accommodations and leave for victims of domestic violence and a new process to deal with abuse from patrons.
"There is still a lot of work to do. Many casino workers do not have a union and some are paid close to minimum wage with uncertain and unfair working conditions," said Finch. 
BCGEU represents over 800 workers at Gateway's Grand Villa Casino and over 450 at Starlight Casino. BCGEU members work in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, restaurants, security, guest services and maintenance.