PSAC fights for members at Rideau-Carleton Casino during shutdown
Ottawa – March 19, 2020 – Members of the PSAC-NCR, UNE Local 71201, working at the Rideau-Carleton Casino received notice from the employer of the casino shut down on Monday, March 16 at 4 a.m. due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
PSAC proposed that the Employer of workers at the Rideau Carleton Casino, a division of Hard Rock International (in Florida), immediately grant Special Paid Leave to workers for a period of time. If in response to the pandemic there is an ongoing requirement to remain closed, then the Union proposed that the Employer shift to providing a special top up to E.I. benefits. This was also denied. As news of supportive measures by other Employers in this sector and beyond became known, the PSAC asked yet another time to support employees with no response.
In Quebec, casino workers will receive their full wages despite closures as well as other private sector employers such as Canadian Tire, Ikea Canada, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, Home Depot, Sports Check, Atmosphere, Best Buy and more. As of March 19, Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw will cover employee salaries for the next two weeks with the provision that the employer will re-evaluate the situation for workers after this time.
To fight for workers, PSAC is launching a digital letter campaign to pressure the employer, and the OLG to stand up for workers, and to do the right thing. We’re additionally asking the city, province and federal government to protect casino workers.
“It’s beyond disappointing that a casino that has continuously described its staff as ‘team members’ suddenly places corporate survival at the top of their agenda and expects the government to otherwise compensate impacted employees. Their approach is also inconsistent with the provisions and philosophy of Hard Rock International and Seminole Tribe gaming operations with respect to COVID-19 at its properties in the United States, says President of UNE, a component of PSAC, Kevin King.
Kate Seniuk, the Local president states: “It’s very difficult for us, and not just for our members who are suffering. All workers deserve support in this time of crisis. We’re also quite worried about our part-time and contract staff who need additional help.”
The local is approximately 250 members working as Valets, Dealers, Slot Technicians and Attendants, Coin & Cage Cashiers and Counters, Player Service Representatives, Shuttle Bus Drivers, Coat Checkers, Retail Sales Associates, Facilities Maintenance and Housekeepers. Employees work irregular hours and shift work. PSAC organizes many workers outside the public service. By doing so, we are combating the rise of precarious work, and uniting workers across sectors.
For more information or to speak with members, contact Jill O’Reilly, Political Communications Officer, PSAC-NCR at 613 808 6523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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