At the moment, there are 4 casinos operated by the state-owned Loto-Quebec in this beautiful province of Canada: in Lac-Leamy, Mont-Tremblant, Charlevoix and Montreal. Not to mention the online gaming site Espacejeux operated by Loto-Québec.
At the Montreal Casino, more than 500 dealers were on strike since Saturday, May 21. The situation seems to have finally calmed down. Indeed, only a few days ago the union announced that it had reached an agreement in principle with the Loto-Québec group.
A complete agreement that must still be voted on
Since March 31, 2020, Montreal Casino dealers have been without a collective bargaining agreement as they have been unable to reach an agreement with the state-owned corporation that manages the gaming establishment.
The situation even prompted 545 unionized dealers to go on strike last May, but that didn’t stop the complex from continuing to operate. Slot machines, blackjack and roulette tables, among others, were still accessible as usual, as were the bars, restaurants and the theater.
In the end, this situation seems to be on the verge of being resolved. A full agreement is to be presented at a general meeting in the next few weeks. Angry employees will then have to vote by secret ballot to validate or not this agreement in principle concluded with the management, a short time ago.
Unfortunately, the exact content of the agreement has not yet been officially disclosed. Nevertheless, the union has stated that it is satisfied with the terms. It therefore believes that it will be validated by the dealers without any problems.
The reasons for the union’s discontent
The demands of the Montreal Casino dealers were mainly about working conditions. Indeed, they claimed that half of them would be injured. They had to stay on their feet for long hours while dealing about 10,000 cards daily while working 5 to 6 days a week. As a result, they asked for 30 minutes of paid break for each hour worked.
In addition, the issue of wages was also a sticking point. Indeed, the union criticized the Casino de Montréal for wanting to pay new recruits 90% of the lowest salary scale. However, according to Loto-Québec, this salary is more than 20% higher than the market rate.
Another strike recently resolved in Ontario
The Montreal Casino dealers’ strike is not the only one that has made news in Canada. There was also a strike at Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Aja, two gaming facilities in the province of Ontario owned by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.
The strike, which began on July 29, also ended earlier this month after the angry employees ratified their new agreements. They were demanding improvements in wages, benefits and pensions. They also want to reduce the number of precarious part-time jobs.