Casino Montreal Employees Protest at Loto-Quebec HQ

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Casino Montreal. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Casino Montreal staff have shifted their protest to Loto-Quebec head office in Montreal, dissatisfied with the current collective agreement negotiations.

Disgruntled Casino Montreal employees have intensified their protest regarding the current collective agreement negotiations by taking their grievances directly to the Loto-Quebec head office in Montreal. Hundreds of croupiers gathered in Montreal on 8 June to continue their two-week-long protest, demanding a meeting with the management.

The contract of Casino Montreal’s 545 croupiers expired on 31 March 2020. The dissatisfied employees have been disappointed with the proposed terms of renewal set out by Casino Montreal and have, subsequently, embarked on a general strike on 21 May. The staff members are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which is currently leading the negotiations with the Crown corporation.

No Progress in Sight for Casino Montreal Negotiations

Union spokesperson Jean-Pierre Proulx made it clear during Wednesday’s protest that every week the croupiers spend striking, the casino loses the equivalent of one year of added costs of a new collective agreement, especially since they are now in week three of the strike.

According to Proulx, the issue with the collective agreement should have been solved a long time ago. He explained that the croupiers undertook only one strike in over 28 years of negotiations for previous collective agreements at the casino. Proulx added that the union is wondering what has happened with the casino’s new management that has been in charge for over a year.

Proulx shared that the labour union is demanding a meeting with the CEO of Loto-Quebec, Jean-François Bergeron, to discuss the current situation. Negotiations for the new collective agreement have hit a pothole as the two parties can’t agree on occupational health and safety regulations. According to the union, more than half of the croupiers have suffered musculoskeletal disorders while working at Casino Montreal, including tendinitis.

Previously, Proulx asserted that the casino pumps tons of funds into the local coffers that are reinvested into provincial healthcare and education. He said that the union wishes for this to continue, but croupiers cannot continue to operate at the expense of their health. However, the casino currently won’t budge regarding the requested additional 15 minutes of break.

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