Casino labour dispute settled

The agreement has significant improvements in wages and working conditions

Chances casino workers are going back to work today.

The Playtime Community Gaming Campbell River lockout has been lifted after approval of a collective agreement, ratified by the employees represented by United Steelworkers (USW), Local 1-1937.

The agreement, which has significant improvements in wages and working conditions, was ratified Jan. 20 with 83 per cent of the membership voting in favour of the proposed agreement.

Rick Wangler, 1st Vice-President of USW, Local 1-1937 says, “It was a long process that started with the crew joining the union last January.”

He goes on to say, “Although not everything the crew wanted was achieved, it is an agreement that has substantial improvements and for a first agreement is a pretty good one.”

Improvements include wages, benefits, working conditions, seniority, and language on tips to name a few. The contract calls for a 7.25 per cent increase in wages over the next four years. It also included a “significant jump” in wages to start with, Wangler said.

“I was impressed with the crew’s determination and applaud them for both hanging in there during these difficult times and for recognizing a good first agreement when it was presented to them.”

Chris Marleau, a Bargaining Committee member says, “The crew is happy the dispute is over and is looking forward to getting back to work and welcoming customers back to the facility.”

The company and the union will work together to bring the customers and the business back to the Campbell River Chances.

Art Villa, spokesperson for Playtime said, “we are looking forward to having our employees back in the facility, back to work and ready to again serve our guests. The job action has been stressful for all involved, but now that it is over we are hopeful that our guests may again return to enjoy our offerings.”

Villa said the casino was closed Thursday to facilitate the re-opening and employees were scheduled to return to their full duties today with full services to resume at 10 a.m.

“Playtime appreciates the effort that went into finalizing this agreement and expects that the transition for its employees from job action to regular duties will be smooth,” he said.

This was the first contract for Campbell River Chances employees, the second one the USW has with this operator, the other one being in Abbotsford.

“USW, Local 1-1937 would like to thank all those that supported our members throughout this ordeal and hope that if they are gaming enthusiasts they will play at the Campbell River facility,” Wangler said.