SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

September 08, 2007 22:06 ET

SEIU Canada: Casino Workers in Halifax Win Overwhelming Victory in Union Vote


HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 8, 2007) - At the conclusion of long-awaited Labour Relations Board proceedings conducted this past week, ballot boxes for workers at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax were opened after a four-month delay since their May 3rd/4th 2007 union certification vote. Workers at the Casino and representatives of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are now celebrating an overwhelming victory for gaming sector employees in Halifax.

The results of the Labour Board hearings and vote-counting proceedings, which concluded just prior to 11 pm on Friday night, determined that 231 Casino employees voted in favour of making improvements in their workplace through joining the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 902, while 85 employees voted against.

This overwhelming victory of over 73% of the votes counted confirms what has been termed an historic victory for the labour movement in Nova Scotia and the largest successful private-sector union organizing victory in well over twenty-five years in this province.

"This is a great achievement," says Sharleen Stewart, SEIU Canadian International Vice-President. "Halifax Casino workers now have a strong voice in their workplace."

"This was a tough organizing campaign with many barriers along the way," she continues, "and due to the determination and commitment of the Casino workers, aided by SEIU's National and Local 902 staff, they have made a positive change which will allow them a much improved working life."

"The successful struggle of workers at the Halifax Casino to form their union gives confidence to gaming and other private-sector unorganized workers across Nova Scotia who themselves would hope to be able to make improvements in their workplaces through having a union contract", said SEIU Canada National Organizer Tony Tracy. "Workers in Nova Scotia deserve and demand to receive the same level of respect and dignity in their work as has been won by unionized workers across Canada."

Still before the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board is a separate Application for Certification filed by SEIU Local 902 for a distinct and separate unit of some 41 Security Officers at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax who voted in early June to join SEIU Local 902, but whose ballot boxes still remained sealed at the Board. The issues around their separate bargaining unit will be heard and determined at the Labour Board in future proceedings, but representatives of SEIU have expressed confidence about the outcome of the vote by Security Officers to join the union.

The Casino management have also brought an application under Section 25(10) of the Nova Scotia Trade Union Act to have the Casino workers union certification dismissed, despite the vastly overwhelming and clearly expressed sentiments of workers at the Casino to form a union with SEIU. While the union and it's legal counsel see no merit in their arguments on this issue, the Employer's application to dismiss the results of the vote will be heard in front of the Labour Board at an upcoming hearing which has not yet been scheduled by the Labour Board. The Union is confident of a positive outcome on this issue.

"SEIU Local 902 is proud and excited to welcome Casino workers in Halifax into the union's membership", said SEIU Local 902 President Cynthia Wamback. "Their strength in their fight to form a union in the face of serious opposition by their employer is inspiring to our membership throughout Nova Scotia."

Representatives of SEIU and workers from Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax will speak about the successful union organizing campaign at a media conference on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 2007 at 2 pm outside the Casino facility at 1983 Upper Water Street.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the largest and fastest growing union in North America, with 98,000 workers in Canada and 1.9 million workers worldwide.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    SEIU Canada
    National Organizer
    Cell: (902) 233-1713
    SEIU Local 902
    John Benoit
    Internal Organizer
    Cell: (902) 880-8483