CALGARY, AB. - The staff of the Calgary Casino have voted 75% in favour of a strike.
The 435 employees, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are expected to serve strike notice today and put up picket lines Friday.
CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz says the workers are angry at the low wages paid by the casino.
“Calgary Casino pays wages that are, on average, 2-3 dollars per hour less than other casinos in the city,” said Lanovaz. “Most of the staff have salaries that are barely over the minimum wage and even with tips it’s not enough to raise a family.”
Lanovaz said the Casino made $1 million in profits last year and should share some of that with the staff.
“It’s hard work in a noisy, smoke filled atmosphere,” said Lanovaz. “The employees are responsible for the success of that casino, and it’s only fair their contribution be recognized.”
“With the casino in good financial shape, they can afford to pay similar wages to the other casinos in the city.”
Lanovaz says the strike will get a lot of attention from the union. “CUPE is the largest union in Canada and we will make sure that size and strength is put to use for these members,” said Lanovaz. “We will asking our members, the labour movement and the public to stop going to this casino - if the casino sees a drop in business, maybe they will be more reasonable at the bargaining table.”