On June 14th, after 16 months of casino shut downs, Playtime Gaming Chances in Abbotsford has issued lock out notice to all its employees because they would not agree to an inferior collective agreement that slashed benefits and offered mostly minimum wages. Instead of preparing for a potential re-opening in the first week of July the employer has chosen to leverage their advantage to get a long term concessionary agreement from their employees. Why not? Gateway Casinos can afford to wait it out.

Although casinos in BC have been shut down since the pandemic, Gateway Casinos did receive substantial assistance from the Federal Government under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). which is aimed at providing loans to companies with revenues of $300 million or more. They may complain about having to maintain overhead costs with no revenue, but let’s be honest. They own most of their properties and really have had zero labour costs for 16 months.

The Playtime Chances Casino in Abbotsford has performed quite well over the past couple of years. How do we know?

Host local governments receive ten per cent of the net casino gaming revenue from casinos and community gaming centres within their jurisdiction. So income records are public information.

According to government documents (Local Government Share of Provincial Casino and Community Gaming Centre (CGC) Revenue) ;

• For the period Apr 1, 2018 - Mar 31, 2019 the casino in Abbotsford had net income of $13,125,000.00

• For the period Apr 1, 2019 - Mar 31, 2020 the casino in Abbotsford had net income of $13,426,000.00

Workers on the other hand have not received wages for 16 months and are struggling to survive. Seeing their employees in a vulnerable position Gateway has attempted to bully them into conceding a very skinny collective agreement. The employer also wants a long term contract! No surprise.

The Union applied for mediation but the employer has refused to participate. Their mandate is clear, take advantage of every nickel you can from those employees who are hurting the most and in desperate need of employment that pays a living wage. Minimum wage is not a living wage!

The Union will not concede to the employer’s bullying tactics. We will be around one day longer. Please support our members at the Abbotsford picket line.#onedaylonger #FairContract


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