Montreal Casino croupiers on strike

Montreal Casino gaming tables and slot machines are running as normal, while the poker lounge is closed.
Montreal Casino gaming tables and slot machines are running as normal, while the poker lounge is closed.

A croupiers union started on Saturday an unlimited general strike demanding better working conditions and an improvement on their salaries.

Canada.- Croupiers at the Montreal Casino launched an unlimited general strike on Saturday (May 21) demanding better working conditions and higher salaries for starting employees. operations at the Montreal Casino will continue as normal but the poker lounge is closed.

The strike began on Saturday morning and will continue until negotiations with Loto-Québec, which manages the province’s casinos, are resolved, according to the union representative Jean-Pierre Proulx.

“One in two of our employees suffers physical injuries due to the nature of the work, which includes dealing nearly 10,000 cards a day, five to six days a week,” Proulx said. “After 15 years on the job, that starts to add up,” resulting in tendinitis and other repetitive strain injuries, he said according to Canadian Press.

This is the second time the workers have gone on strike in May. The croupiers held a pair of four-hour strikes last weekend to denounce the stalled negotiations. The collective agreement that regulates the working conditions of 521 dealers expired on March 31, 2020. Negotiations with a mediator resumed on Tuesday.

“The croupiers at the Montreal Casino are asking for 30 minutes of paid break for each hour worked. They would therefore spend more than 30 per cent of their shift on paid break, which is unusual in the industry and other casinos by the company,” said Loto-Quebec in a statement.

Proulx added the provincial lottery corporation is seeking a 10 per cent decrease in the salary for starting employees, dropping from the current $18.40 an hour to $17.44. ”In the current context of labour shortages, (the salary reduction) is irresponsible and the union will never accept it,” Proulx said. “We are demanding better management of work shifts and rest breaks to avoid injuries.”

Loto-Québec counters the opening salary is 20 per cent more than what’s offered in the market and said they want to reach a “responsible negotiated settlement,” noting that negotiations are taking place within “similar parameters to what has been agreed to by the same CUPE-affiliated employment bodies at other Loto-Quebec casinos, including the Casino du Lac-Leamy dealers.”

In this article:
canada montreal casino