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CUPE asks charities to pressure Calgary Casino to treat staff fairly

CALGARY, AB The union representing 435 employees of ABS Calgary Casino is warning city charities ABS Casinos might not be able to live up to the contracts they have signed.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz says a strike will hamper the efforts of charities with licenses to hold casinos at ABS Calgary.

ABS Calgary Casino, like other gaming operators, signs contracts with charities to operate a casino and share the profits,” said Lanovaz. “But without a full staff, the casino may only be able to run slot machines and a limited number of table games.”

Charities only receive 15% of the revenue from slot machines, while they receive up to 50% of the revenue from the more staff-intensive table games.

What this means is that if the strike isn’t settled soon, charities won’t make as much as they are expecting, as there may be fewer games offered,” said Lanovaz.

In addition to the capacity at the casino going down, Lanovaz says that picket lines will likely cause customers to go to other facilities.

Lanovaz asked charities expecting to hold casinos at ABS Calgary to call management and tell them to settle the dispute fast.

I think it’s in everybody’s interest that Casino Calgary reach a fair settlement with its employees,” said Lanovaz. “The sooner the Casino is willing to treat employees with dignity, the better off everyone is.”

CUPE is expected to go on strike on Friday. The union is taking job action because its members are paid near the minimum wage level, which is 2-3/hour less than what other casinos pay.