Loto-Québec has most recently reported that strikes at its gambling locations across Quebec will be finally coming to an end. The Crown corporation revealed that CSN-affiliated employees from its four casinos and online gambling platform have agreed to end the strikes. The staff has opted to accept the recommendation made by the Ministère du Travail conciliator.
Strikes in Gatineau, Montreal, Charlevoix Mont-Tremblant and the Crown agency's online gambling platform began in the middle of June 2023. They demanded better pay to match the rapidly increasing cost of living in the country. However, for a while, the employer refused to match their request as it deemed the demands too steep.
Issue Now Resolved
It was recently reported that the workers of the four casinos and the online platform have voted 73% in favour of accepting a recommendation of the conciliator that will end the labour dispute. Now, approximately 1,700 unionized employees will gain a salary increase of 16% over six years, integrating 2% of the bonus and a lump sum of CA$1,250 to their salary.
Intercasinos spokesperson and president of the Montreal casino security department, Riccardo Scopelleti. commented that during the strikes, workers from all locations stood united. He is now proud to see the bonds of solidarity created between employees. Loto-Québec is also pleased to see the conflict end and find a responsible agreement with its employees.
The recommendation of the chief conciliator of the Ministry of Labour was filed to the general assemblies of the numerous protesting units. Voting was quick and ended on Monday, September 25, 2023. It also marked the first time that the nine teams of Intercasinos negotiated together. This will boost their relationship, said Vice-President of the FEESP–CSN, Frédéric Brun
Lastly, Loto-Québec commented that staff members will return to their positions over the coming weeks for a gradual resumption of its gambling activities. The Crown also advised customers to visit each of the casino's official websites, where they can find the opening and business hours of each property and what services are available to patrons.
Regulator Pulls the Plug on Mini-Casino
Earlier this year, the Crown announced its intentions to launch nearly 300 video lottery machines at the former Taverne 1909 restaurant in downtown Montreal. However, the project was recently opposed by Montreal Public Health (DRSP), which issued a 40-page report detailing the potential harms related to the opening of a casino right next to the home of the Montreal Canadiens.
Shortly after DRSP's report was made public, Loto-Québec announced its decision to abandon the project for the mini-casino. It shared that it respects the opinion of the public health organization, but still believes the project is a missed opportunity. t claims that it has suggested a responsible project to reduce their accessibility and remove 600 VLTs in bars in disadvantaged areas on the island of Montréal.
Source: “CSN-affiliated employees agree to end strike” Loto-Québec, September 26, 2023