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River Rock Casino workers negotiate strong first collective agreement after a year of bargaining - BCGEU

RICHMOND – B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) members at River Rock Casino Resort voted by 81 per cent to ratify a four-year collective agreement today after more than a year of negotiations with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

"I am so proud of the outstanding resolve and determination of workers at the River Rock Casino to negotiate such a strong first agreement," says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "The agreement will bring vast improvements to working conditions and makes impressive strides in job security, pensions, benefits, and a much stronger wage grid."

The nearly 1,000 members at River Rock will receive an average 19 per cent wage increase making them among the best paid casino workers in the province. Extended health and dental care, parental and adoption leave, and fair vacation entitlements are also among the benefits.

River Rock Casino Resort, owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, is one of the most profitable casinos in B.C., yet when compared to other unionized casinos in the province, workers at River Rock generally earned far less in wages.

"Today's result is another example of the important role unions play in fighting for workers' rights in today's economy and family-supporting jobs," says Smith. "Many River Rock workers are first-generation Canadians and this agreement also provides them with more security as they lay down roots in their communities."

The BCGEU is one of the largest and most diverse unions in British Columbia with more than 73,000 members across all sectors of the economy, including over 3,800 workers in casinos.

For more information please contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, 604-719-4713.