Gateway Casino employees vote overwhelmingly in favour of joining BCGEU

December 10, 2008

New BCGEU members will join co-workers already at bargaining table

Security personnel and guest services employees at Gateway Casinos' recently expanded Grand Villa Casino in Burnaby voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union to get improved wages and working conditions.

Seventy-six employees working in security and guest services voted almost unanimously in favour of joining the BCGEU over the past few weeks and they will soon take their seat at the bargaining table with their union co-workers.

More than 200 dealers and slot attendants from Gateway's flagship casino joined the BCGEU earlier this year, and negotiations to improve wages and working conditions have been underway since September.

BCGEU President Darryl Walker was pleased to welcome the latest group of Gateway employees to join the union.

"We're glad that these workers joined in time to get a seat at the bargaining table with their co-workers," says Walker. "There is strength in numbers."

Food and beverage, cashiers, and the drop team at the Grand Villa are still non-union, but Walker is hoping that they too will be represented in bargaining before negotiations are concluded.

"Department after department, Gateway Casino workers are deciding that joining the BCGEU is the best way to get the wages and respect that they deserve at their workplace," he added.

BCGEU has been actively organizing Gateway Casino workers in Burnaby for over two years. In addition to the 350 Gateway members in Burnaby, BCGEU also represents another 400 staff at four Gateway-owned casinos in the Interior.

B.C.'s casinos generate more than $1.3 billion in annual revenue and huge profits that are carved up by casino owners and Victoria. While the stakes are lucrative for some, casino workers are poorly paid and work long hours under stressful conditions. Wages at Gateway start at $8.75 per hour and top out for the most experienced supervisor at just over $16 per hour.