SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

April 02, 2007 12:48 ET

SEIU Canada: Casino Workers in Halifax Speak Out for Respect and Dignity

Employees of Casino Nova Scotia come together in union drive

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(CCNMatthews - April 2, 2007) - At a press held on Sunday evening, workers Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax spoke about their efforts and reasons for working towards forming a union in their workplace.

Halifax Casino workers, who are employed by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), have chosen to unite and form a union. With the help of organizers and members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 902, these casino workers launched a union organizing drive just over a month ago in order to win increased wages, benefits, job security and overall fair treatment.

Julie Glendenning, a 24-year-old cage cashier at the casino, said, "While working at the Casino, I live pay cheque to pay cheque. I have dreams about my future - about going back to school and furthering my education. But the reality is that I can't save a dime. I worry about putting $50 on my credit card because I wonder if my next cheque will be enough. We are bringing our co-workers together in forming a union in order to improve our jobs and get the respect every worker should have."

"Real change at the Halifax Casino will require a union," said Shawn Coates, a longtime table games and cards dealer who has been elected by his co-workers as Chairperson of the Dealers' Tip Committee. "We want change for ourselves, we want change for our co-workers and we want better lives for our families. We want security, respect and a better standard of living."

Rob Mailman, who has worked at the Casino in Halifax for five years as a porter in the Property Services department, said, "I know that my co-workers and I would be treated more fairly if we had a legal union contract that we negotiated with our employer, and if we had a legal grievance process."

"Although Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Casino Nova Scotia see massive revenues from the Halifax Casino, gaming sector workers in Nova Scotia are the lowest paid and have the lowest level of benefits and job security of any casino or racetrack across Canada," said SEIU Canada National Organizer Tony Tracy. "Many of these workers wages are at or very near the provincial minimum wage, in an industry which is very profitable and which has far higher wage standards in the remainder of the country."

"Workers in Halifax and throughout Nova Scotia deserve the same level of respect and job security that have been won by workers in other provinces," said Tracy. "With the cost of living in Halifax at some of the highest levels of cities across the country, and with an employer that is extremely profitable, it is unacceptable that these workers are not treated with dignity and fairness."

In-person and/or telephone interviews with Casino workers who are working to form a union are available throughout this week.

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