SEIU Canada

SEIU Canada

May 01, 2007 10:53 ET

SEIU Canada: Casino Workers in Halifax to Form Union

Union Certification Vote to be Conducted Thursday and Friday

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 1, 2007) - At a press conference held outside the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board on Monday afternoon, workers employed by Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax reported that they have now filed an application with the Labour Board to be recognized as a union. Casino workers will be voting in union certification balloting at their workplace on Thursday May 3rd and Friday May 4th from 6am to midnight on both days.

Casino Nova Scotia workers in Halifax, who are employed by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), have to chosen unite together and form a union with the help of organizers and members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 902. Casino workers launched a union organizing drive in mid-February to win increased wages, benefits, job security and overall fair treatment and respect.

Julie Glendenning, a 24-year-old cage cashier who has worked at the casino for three years said "Today is a very special day for workers at the casino. I am very proud of my co-workers efforts to come together to have a strong united voice at work."

"Employees need to feel protected in their workplace, and need to know they have someone to turn to when a problem arises," said Phil Dunbar, who works in the Slot Department of the casino. "I know that working together with my co-workers in forming a union will ensure that support."

"It's about respect and dignity and treating people the way they should be treated," said David Sheppard, who has worked in Property Services at the Halifax Casino since it opened 12 years ago.

Terrance Kavanaugh, who has worked as a professional cook in the casino kitchen for six years, talked about the workplace morale. "Instead of support and advancement, the casino has given me nothing but disappointment and a menial job."

"Workers in Halifax and throughout Nova Scotia deserve the same level of respect, dignity and job security that have been won by workers in other provinces through their unions," said SEIU Canada National Organizer Tony Tracy. "Casino Nova Scotia generates the third highest revenues of all of the casinos and racetracks owned by Great Canadian Gaming, and yet Halifax Casino workers are the lowest paid and have the lowest level of benefits and job security of any casino or racetrack across Canada. It is unacceptable that this extremely profitable employer is not giving Nova Scotia's workers the fairness they deserve."

SEIU has represented gaming and racetrack sector workers in Canada for over forty years, including Great Canadian Gaming Corporation's Flamboro Downs facility outside of Hamilton, Ontario. SEIU is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with 98,000 workers in Canada and 1.8 million workers worldwide.

In-person and/or telephone interviews with Casino workers who are leading the formation of their union are available throughout this week.

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