Gateway Casinos & Entertainment wants to guarantee the best working conditions for all of its casino staff members across the Canadian provinces. United Steelworkers collaborated with the casino operator in order to negotiate extended benefits for the individuals associated with casino operation in Sudbury, Thunder Bay, and Sault Ste. Marie. About 300 individuals will be affected by the agreement.
Ever since mid-March, brick-and-mortar facilities across the Canadian provinces had to close for operation. The mandatory lockdown aims to protect players and casino staff members and ensure that they will get the chance to return to their workplace once the situation is over and life returns to its normal pace. During this period, the people relying on regular payments had to receive regular benefits payments.
United Steelworkers is the labor union representing about 300 individuals part of the structure of the casino operator. Those individuals are associated with some of the most popular casino hotspots in Ontario. United Steelworkers Area Representative Marc Ayotte, recently made it clear that the negotiations with Gateway Casinos have come to an end and the results will be positive for the people affected.
It could be recalled that June 30 was supposed to see the official end of employee benefits payments. Their payment commenced with the beginning of lockdown but was set to expire at the end of last month. United Steelworkers wanted to see a change and a much-needed extension past that date, which is why it entered the negotiation process. The representative had to work in collaboration with United Steelworkers Local 8748-18 bargaining unit chair Albert Williams.
Along with them, other labor union representatives also entered the conversation with the casino operator, aiming to make it a mutually beneficial arrangement covering the upcoming months. This process spanned throughout the entire month of June. When all was said and done, a memorandum of agreement was inked by both parties.
Benefits Extended until August 31
As a result of the arrangement, about 300 individuals working at Gateway Casinos Sudbury, Gateway Casinos Thunder Bay, as well as Gateway Casinos Sault Ste. Marie will continue receiving benefit payments until August 31. Projections are that by that point, the casino venues across Ontario and Canada as a whole will reopen for in-person gambling. If that is not the case, more negotiations will be needed.
The negotiations included leveraging the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in order to optimize and make possible the process. It could be recalled that Unifor National recently entered the same negotiations with the casino operator when it comes to casino staff members across Ontario and British Columbia. Cascades Chatham, Starlight Point Edward, Gateway Casinos Sarnia, Gateway Casinos Sudbury, Gateway Casinos Innisfil Security, as well as Centralized Technical Operation were among the affected by the talks.
Moreover, Chances Kamloops, Chances Williams Lake, as well as the Grand Villa Burnaby Surveillance workers were also involved in the new arrangement. As a result of it, casino staff members associated with the labor union will now get their benefits extended, as the two parties return to previously established operations agreement.