Renewal contract: valid from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2021. Signed Oct. 28, 2019. Edmonton, AB – On May 14, 2019, union members at Edmonton`s Grand Villa Casino voted in favour of a new agreement with their employer Gateway Casinos. They have also launched a casino-wide unity campaign to prepare for next year`s negotiations. Starting September 15, the casino is open only Thursday to Sunday from 12 to 12 .m. but remains open to all important rogers Place events and concerts. “The members of the Union who build unity and solidarity throughout the casino are the main objective we have during the duration of this agreement,” Penton said. Hughes said casino employees were warned of reduced hours, but were not specified exactly what that meant. “We had our union representative and legal counsel with people to make sure the collective agreement was being respected,” Hughes said. More than 1,200 BCGEU (BCGEU) members, who work at Gateway`s Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby and The Starlight Casino in New Westminster, voted in favour of new collective agreements. UFCW Local 401 starlight Casino members in Edmonton, also owned by Gateway casinos, will return to the negotiating table at the end of the month. Meanwhile, gaming employees at Calgary`s newly organized Elbow River Casino with UFCW Local 401 recently voted to accept the regulation recommended by a mediator, although the employer continues to oppose the terms of an initial collective agreement.
“These temporary operational changes are necessary due to the lack of construction delays in the downtown core due to the lack of commercial activity and the lack of parking space in the immediate vicinity of the casino,” Tanya Gabara, Gateway`s director of public relations, said Thursday. The workers felt betrayed, Hughes says, because they were in the spring in a collective agreement with Gateway casinos and the company took what it called a cumbersome approach. In November, Grand Villa employees voted 88.6 per cent in favour of the strike. The four-year contracts include a weighted average of 15 percent of wage increases over the life of the contract, with some of the lowest paid workers receiving more than 20 percent, according to the union. BCGEU represents more than 800 employees at Gateway Grand Villa Casino and more than 450 at Starlight Casino. BCGEU members work in table games, as slot hostesses, cashier, in the counting room, kitchen, restaurants, security, guest service and maintenance. Grand Villa Casino is located in Edmonton`s ICE district and is attached to Rogers Place and has experienced some difficulties since the passage of the former Bacarrat Casino building in 2016. The much-vaunted economic promise of the much-vaunted ice-district has not fully materialized and casino management does not seem to have been able to take advantage of the revitalization that has come to the city`s downtown. The short-term contract with the company, which expired in May 2020, was seen by members as an opportunity to give casino management the opportunity to change its operations. This series of negotiations caused a stir among members of the casino union.
As a result, a renewed sense of activism and commitment was born throughout the casino, with 401 UFCW Local members wanting to increase the voice and visibility of their union in the workplace. Since Tuesday, company representatives have been issuing redundancy notices at the 60,000-square-metre casino across the street from Rogers Place Arena, said Michael Hughes, communications manager for the United Food and Commercial Workers union.