Workers at the Abbotsford Chances Casino were on the picket line earlier this month. (File photo)

Workers at the Abbotsford Chances Casino were on the picket line earlier this month. (File photo)

Workers at Abbotsford’s Chances Casino ratify renewed contract

Employees hit the picket line earlier this month, but agreement was reached after two days

After two days on the picket line earlier this month, members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 2009 have ratified a renewed collective agreement with Playtime Gaming at Chances Casino in Abbotsford.

On June 14, 2021, Playtime Gaming issued a lockout notice to its employees after the members would not agree to a collective agreement that was set to slash benefits and offer mostly minimum wages.

“The bargaining committee worked hard to thwart the employer’s concessionary wage and benefit proposals,” stated Al Bieksa, President of USW Local 2009 in a press release. “After two days on the picket line and massive support from the membership, the bargaining committee settled on a renewed collective agreement that sees average wage increases of eight per cent over the next three years of the contract.”

“The employer received substantial assistance from the federal government under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF), which was aimed at providing loans to companies with revenues of $300 million or more. On the other hand, our members were financially challenged for the past 16 months,” stated Ginette Talbo-Hoogeveen, USW Staff Representative.

“I am very proud that our members did not concede to the employer’s bullying tactics and stood together when they were locked out,” she added.

Casinos in British Columbia are scheduled to re-open during the first week of July after the easing of provincial health orders. All casinos have been closed in the province since March 16, 2020.

RELATED: B.C. to shut down all casinos to slow spread of COVID-19

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