BC union urges Getaway to come up with offer

The employees union president has urged the company to “get out of the media.”

Canada.- Stephanie Smith, president of the BC Government and Service Employees Union, has urged Gateway Casinos to stop its media campaign and get back to negotiating. The president says that the union is waiting for a new offer from the company.

Smith said that comments from Getaway that they are offering more than a living wage, including tips, is not credible, CFJC Today reports. “We’re saying that relying on tips is a smoke screen. This is a reward for excellent service and we’re saying that should not be hoisted n the patrons of the casinos,” Smith tells Beach Radio News.

While waiting for a new offer from Gateway, Smith accused them of putting profits before people, and added: “These are not tactics we have not seen before from employers. Honestly, what we would like them do is get out of the media and come back to the table and bargain a collective agreement that our members will be willing to vote on.”

Yesterday, Gateway sued the union and the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union Local No. 401 (UFCW) as it claimed that they have engaged in unlawful activity at the company’s Lake City casinos. The company claims that the union has blocked access to the casinos and have engaged in “abusive and threatening behaviour of employees and members of the public.”

More than 650 casino workers in Vernon, Kelowna, Kamloops and Penticton have been on strike since June 29, and talks have stopped after mediation broke off September 22. Smith assured that the workers are getting strike pay, but didn’t say how much that is.  “There is a formula that is worked out. Some of our members are full time, some are part time, so there is a formula that is worked out that is fair for all the members on the line,” Smith added.

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