NEWS

July 24, 2018

Casino workers vote yes on new agreement ending Hard Rock strike - BCGEU

BCGEU members thank customers for their support. 

(Coquitlam) - After being on strike for more than 10 weeks, over 400 members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) working at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam have voted in favour of a new agreement with their employer.

"BCGEU members at the Hard Rock casino stuck together through a long, tough fight and thanks to their strength and solidarity and the support of the labour movement and the community they now have a collective agreement that sets a new standard for casino workers in BC," said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president.

"On behalf of every member of the BCGEU, I want to congratulate the Hard Rock workers and their bargaining committee," said Smith. "We couldn't be prouder of their commitment and resolve."

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.

Over 400 workers at the casino walked off the job on May 11, 2018 after mediation broke down. Major issues included wages and hours of work. Members voted down a tentative agreement on July 4th before getting clarification on what the impact of the employer's business restructuring decisions would mean for staffing levels.

"This ground-breaking deal shows the power of BCGEU members to make positive changes in any sector as long as they stand together," says Smith. "Hard Rock workers and their BCGEU bargaining committee have achieved an agreement that sets a new standard of fairness for casino workers across BC. Now it's time to make sure BCGEU members at casinos in the Okanagan get lifted up to that standard as well."

BCGEU represents thousands of casino workers in the province including over 400 staff at Hard Rock working in table games, as slot attendants, cashiers, in the count room, kitchen, security, theatre and guest services.

 



UWU/MoveUP

July 23, 2018

Talks break off between Gateway Casinos and union - BCGEU

KAMLOOPS - Mediation has been cut short between BCGEU and Gateway Casinos.

 

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UWU/MoveUP

July 23, 2018

Support for striking BCGEU brothers and sisters - BCGEU

The BC labour movement staged a show of support Saturday for striking BCGEU members

 

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UWU/MoveUP

July 23, 2018

Mediation talks break off in casino strike - BCGEU

Mediation between Gateway Casinos and over 675 members of the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) on strike officially broke off on Saturday, July 21 – the same day that saw hundreds of supporters flock to the picket lines across all four sites in the Thompson Okanagan.

 

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UWU/MoveUP

July 18, 2018

Secretary- BCGEU Fraser Valley Area Office - BCGEU

BCGEU FRASER VALLEY AREA OFFICE

INTERNAL POSTING

July 18, 2018

 

POSITION: SECRETARY

GRADE: LEVEL 3 – MoveUP AGREEMENT

A secretary is required to perform secretarial and word processing functions for staff representatives. This person will also be required to assist with switchboard and receptionist duties.


DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

Will include: processing a variety of documents such as minutes, reports, bargaining proposals, bargaining bulletins and general correspondence; drafting correspondence, calculating calendar deadlines for grievances, notices to bargain and appeals; responding to phone calls and walk-in visitors; assisting component/local executive; coordinating, preparing and distributing material for strike/ratification votes; booking meeting rooms, travel and accommodation; prioritizing incoming mail; maintaining filing and bring forward system; and other duties as assigned.


QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE:

Applicant must have 2 – 4 years' secretarial experience; high school graduation supplemented by secretarial training; excellent keyboarding (60 - 70 wpm); switchboard experience; excellent Microsoft Word and Excel skills; database experience required; an aptitude for organization and detail; good telephone manner; and the ability to set priorities and work within time limits.

Hours of work are 32 per week, 4 days.

General aptitude tests will be administered to all applicants. Keyboarding tests will be administered to regular/temporary employees who are not presently working in or have not previously worked in a secretarial position.

The BCGEU supports employment equity. Workers of colour, women, aboriginal workers, LGBTQ+ workers and workers with disabilities are encouraged to apply for positions with the BCGEU.

Apply in writing with resume to Sharon Penner, Human Resources Administrator, Headquarters, by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Resumes will be accepted by e-mail to: human.resources@bcgeu.ca



UWU/MoveUP

July 13, 2018

BC Liberal foot-dragging on whistleblower protection aided casino money laund...

BCGEU members are in a unique position to help monitor the laundering of dirty money in B.C. casinos. However, the failure of the former BC Liberal government to provide whistleblower protection for our members ensured there was no avenue for casino workers to expose illegal activity.

In fact, the recent Peter German report on money laundering reveals that the BC Liberal government willfully turned a blind eye to the situation, and even punished those who raised concerns about this illegal practise. 

Casino workers deserve adequate employment protection, security and training to identify and report suspicious activities – including recommendations in the Dirty Money report that impact their work:

R19 – That persons working in VIP rooms be provided with an independent avenue to report incidents of inappropriate conduct by patrons.

R30 – That anti-money laundering be a responsibility of the Regulator and that it institute mandatory training for front line gaming personnel, including VIP hosts, with consideration of a Play Right program.

Download Peter German Dirty Money Report on Casino money laundering.

The B.C. Liberals' track record on dirty money in B.C.

December, 2007:
The Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET) prepares report warning that if they are disbanded, high-level illegal gambling targets will conduct their operations with impunity.

January 29, 2009:
Report from IIGET warns of "extreme vulnerability" to money laundering in B.C. casinos and describes how Hells Angels members have succeeded in infiltrating gaming operations.

April 1, 2009:
Rich Coleman eliminates funding for IIGET and disbands the unit

October 21, 2009:
IIGET's former commander Fred Pinnock speaks to journalists and states that his team should have been expanded, not shut down.

January, 2011:
Inspector Barry Baxter speaks to media about suspicions of dirty money in B.C.'s casinos and "sophisticated money-laundering activities by organized crime."

Rich Coleman criticizes Insp. Baxter and dismissed his concern, saying "Yeah, I know what he said, and I don't agree with him, neither do all the superiors of his in the RCMP." (CBC, 2011)

November 19, 2012:
The head of the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch begins to raise concerns of suspiciously large amounts of cash entering the gambling system. "Who has $200,000 in $20 dollar bills wrapped in elastic bands in $10,000 bundles?" (German, June 27, 2018)

March, 2013:
In an email, the head of gaming enforcement investigations warns of the possibility of money laundering and other illegal activity taking place. Instead of acting, Mike de Jong, fires the investigator.

Late 2014:
BCLC becomes concerned with the lack of RCMP investigation into dirty money.

July, 2015:
After years of BC Liberal denial and failure to act, the money-laundering crisis reaches historic levels with one casino accepting $13.5 million in twenty-dollar bills in a single month.

July 2016:
Government receives a report from MNP LLP recommending changes to anti-money laundering practices. B.C. Liberals fail to implement recommendations and withhold the report from the public.

September, 2017:
Attorney General David Eby releases MNP report suppressed by the B.C. Liberal government.
Attorney General David Eby appoints independent expert Peter German to conduct a review of money laundering at B.C. casinos.

October, 2017:
An RCMP probe into uncovers alleged international criminal involvement in money laundering at B.C. casinos. 

Andrew Wilkinson cashes a cheque for $5000 from Gateway Casinos for his leadership campaign. Other B.C. Liberal contenders cash another $20,000.

December 5, 2017:
Attorney General David Eby announces interim recommendations from Peter German to combat money laundering, and directs BCLC and the GPEB to implement them.

June 27, 2018:
Peter German releases a full report confirming the prevalence of money laundering in B.C. casinos and highlighting the previous government's decision to disband IIGET as making matters worse. 

B.C. Liberals hide former Ministers responsible. Instead, Andrew Wilkinson puts forward new MLA Jas Johal who fails to accept any responsibility and blames the RCMP.

RCMP issued a statement to correct the record: "At times, government is briefed on sensitive information concerning police investigation that cannot be released. However, it was the decision of government to disband [the] Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET)."

June 28, 2018:
Andrew Wilkinson himself speaks to the issue. Rather than taking responsibility for the previous B.C. Liberal government ignoring the problem, he again blames the RCMP for the decision to disband the task force.

July 3, 2018:
When asked whether the B.C. Liberal's response to money laundering took too long while the problem grew out of hand, former Attorney General Suzanne Anton says, "That's correct. And it was slow." (CBC, July 3, 2018)

July 5, 2018:
Rich Coleman finally speaks to the issue, but denies responsibility. When asked what he would change now that the extent of dirty money is public, he says "I think it's difficult to say you would do anything differently." (CKNW, July 5, 2018)

He continues to blame the RCMP, and denies that the B.C. Liberals accepted big money from the casinos named in German's report. In fact, Elections BC reports show that between 2015 and 2017, the B.C. Liberals took $220,302 from gateway Casinos and $127,274 from Great Canadian Gaming Corp.

Coleman himself received a $390 donation from Gateway Casinos on Election Day, 2017.

July 10, 2018:

IIGET's former head Fred Pinnock speaks to journalists, clearly states who needs to accept responsibility:
"Fault lies at the feet of the B.C. Liberals while they were in government," said Pinnock. "They all knew what was going on in those casinos […] It was wild west in those large casinos where organized criminal activity was running amok." (Global News, July 10, 2018)

 



UWU/MoveUP

July 12, 2018

Casino strike enters its second week - BCGEU

Cascades Casino employees in Kam­loops continue to soldier on along the picket line as their union is back at the negotiating table this week.

 

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UWU/MoveUP

July 12, 2018

Spirits high on casino picket line - BCGEU

A unicycling panda, music and a flag-bearing recumbent are just some of the things keeping spirits up on the picket lines at the Penticton Gateway Casino.

 

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UWU/MoveUP

July 11, 2018

Workers joining union help keep child care centre open - BCGEU

Workers joining union help keep child care centre open
DTES daycare to stay open at least until November 

(Vancouver) After workers at the Phil Bouvier Child and Family Center in Strathcona voted 95% in favour of joining the BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU), the employer, who had previously threatened to close the daycare, agreed to a settlement which would keep the centre open for four more months.

After the union brought an unfair labour practice application to the BC Labour Relations Board (LRB), the Vancouver Native Health Society (VNHS), who runs the centre, agreed, on the eve of hearing, to keep the daycare open.

The Phil Bouvier Child and Family Centre is in the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and serves a number of Indigenous and non-Indigenous families and children.

"The employees at the Phil Bouvier Centre came to the BCGEU because we have an excellent track record for representing community social service professionals, including child care workers, and we are glad they did," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

"Our newest members care deeply about the children, families and community they serve and by joining the BCGEU they were able to apply collective pressure to help keep this unique and vitally important child care centre open."

The day after workers applied to join the union in late May, VNHS notified its staff, and the families using their services, that they intended to close the daycare. BCGEU filed a complaint with the LRB, on behalf of the workers, arguing that the closure was an attempt by VNHS to deny these workers their right to unionize. BCGEU asked for a "freeze period" that would allow the workers a chance to vote on joining the union and negotiate a collective agreement.

The LRB scheduled a hearing for June 9 -13, 2018. On the first day scheduled for hearing, VNHS settled the case by agreeing that it would keep the daycare open and not reduce any hours of operation until at least November 10, 2018.

"We understand the City of Vancouver has issued a grant to help the centre stay open for the short-term and we'll be urging them, and other levels of government, to commit to long-term funding that will keep these important services in the community," said Smith.

BCGEU members at the centre will now begin the process of negotiating a collective agreement with their employer.

"In the coming months we will be working with our newest members to negotiate a strong first collective agreement with the Vancouver Native Health Society to improve working conditions and job security. We will also continue working with the VNHS and other community stakeholders to keep the centre open," said Smith.

The BCGEU represents over 77,000 members across the province including thousands of members in child care and community social services. 



UWU/MoveUP