Casino workers and Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries are continuing to try to reach a new agreement for workers at three casinos before the Dec. 23 strike deadline.
Members of Unifor Local 144 voted 98 percent to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. on December 23 if an agreement was not reached by then.
The union consists of more than 750 workers at McPhillips Station Casino, Regent Club Casino, and Shark Club Casino. Unifor members work as merchants, cashiers, slot attendants, security, house/grounds, customer service representative, and skilled trades workers.
According to sources from the Union, the meetings will be scheduled over three days next week, and the two sides are working hard to reach an agreement.
“Both parties are continuing the negotiation process and are actively working to reach a mutually beneficial solution,” a Manitoba Liquor and Lottery spokesperson said.
According to a statement issued earlier this month, workers have been without a collective agreement for 18 months – since June 2022. Wages have increased by only 1.75 percent in six years.
“We have endless patience. A serious offer is needed from the employer to get bargaining back on track,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western regional manager. “Unifor members make the Manitoba Lottery very profitable. They got a fair contract.”
“Unifor members at Manitoba Lotteries deserve a strong collective agreement, not the stonewalling and disrespect we see from the company. Management has left us with no choice but to take job action. My message to this employer: Take action and make a serious offer,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.
As the association is quick to point out, Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries made a profit of $740.9 million in 2022.
Unifor represents more than 315,000 workers in Canada’s private sector, in key areas of the economy.