Casino Lac-Leamy Workers to Embark on Strike Action

Casino Lac-Leamy strike image
Collective Bargaining. Image Credit: Shutterstock

After failing to reach an agreement on salary increases, the staff at Casino Lac-Leamy are preparing to go on strike.

A large group of Casino Lac-Leamy employees have failed to reach an agreement with their employer regarding annual salary increases.  As a result, over 80 per cent of surveillance workers and security guards are threatening to go on strike in an attempt to get the casino to agree to their demands.  However, it remains unclear whether the current standoff can be resolved any time soon.

The union representing the casino employees has been trying to negotiate a new collective agreement that would be acceptable to all the employees. The previous collective contract expired in 2018, and it has not been renewed since. At the start of November, the workers voted unanimously to embark on a strike.

Salary Increase Negotiations Stall

Negotiations between CUPE 3959 union and the casino have reached a dead-end, with both sides at loggerheads over the proposed salary increases. The amount offered is seen by employees as insufficient since it falls well below the inflation rate, which continues to soar. The union has argued is that despite the lockdown restrictions, Loto-Quebec still managed to make almost CA$200 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2021.

Michel Despatie, CUPE 3959 president, said that the Crown corporation is evidently in a position where it can afford decent salary increases but refuses to do so. The situation at the casino is expected to further deteriorate with more trade unions, one representing the croupiers and the other the general unit, also currently renewing their collective agreements.

Additionally, the labour union informed that, in the coming weeks, it would commence a public campaign to highlight the events at the casino, which could lead to a complete shutdown of the gaming facility. Union adviser, Guy Gosselin, explained that the union is willing to negotiate, but the employer continues to present a low-rate salary increase, which he deems unacceptable.

The CUPE labour union represents over 122,000 members in Quebec, with 3,475 of these working for public agencies and government corporations. The union is active in health and social services, education, universities, communications, energy, air and land transport, municipalities, the mixed sector, and maritime transport. Moreover, the union is known for being the most prominent affiliate of the Fonds de solidarité.

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