Strike kicks off with rally at Hard Rock
(Coquitlam, May 11, 2018) - Members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam are walking off the job Friday morning, in their escalating efforts to get fair wages, benefits and respect at work.
Hundreds of workers and supporters will gather for a rally in front of the casino at 2073 Hartley Ave, Coquitlam at 1:30 P.M. on Friday afternoon.
Negotiations and mediation for a first contract failed after both parties were too far apart on a number of issues including wages, benefits and hours of work.
"Many of the employees at Hard Rock haven't had a wage increase in over 10 years," said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU. "Wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living and now a large number of workers are working two or three jobs and still struggling to get by."
Smith continued, "it's totally unacceptable for a successful company in the highly profitable casino industry not to pay a decent, living wage to the workers who ensure their success."
Hard Rock Casino Vancouver is owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. Great Canadian announced, earlier this week, a 62% increase in revenue this quarter over the same period last year.
Employees at Hard Rock voted to join the BCGEU in May 2016 and have been trying to negotiate a first collective agreement with their employer since January 2017. When they reached impasse earlier this year, 99.5% of Hard Rock workers voted in favour of strike action.
Aside from improved wages, Hard Rock workers are also looking for improved health benefits, a more stable pension plan and fairness in scheduling and hours of work.
"We're looking for language that prevents Hard Rock management from forcing workers to go home early," said Smith. "How can a person budget when they can't count on working a full shift?"
BCGEU represents over 400 staff at Hard Rock working in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, theatre and guest services.
For more information, contact Erin Sikora at 778-238-0300.