Casino strike in Okanagan, Kamloops enters fourth month | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Casino strike in Okanagan, Kamloops enters fourth month

Workers are seen walking the picket lines in front of the Cascades Casino entrance in Kamloops earlier this summer. Nearly 700 Gateway casino workers remain off the job due to a labour dispute over wages.

It’s been just over four months since more than 600 unionized employees started walking picket lines at casinos across the Thompson-Okanagan in a labour dispute over wages.

Bargaining between the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union and Gateway Casinos has yet to produce an agreement.

“There is no end in sight for this strike,” says the director of public relations for Gateway Casinos Tanya Gabara.

Gabara says they last met with the union over a month ago.

“We presented the union with a monetary package that had proposed wage increases that would have every employee receiving an increase from seven per cent to as much as 19 per cent in the first year alone,” Gabara says, adding this would be in addition to tips of $8 to $12 per hour, benefits and a pension.

Gabara says they have let the union know they are ready to talk and return back to the table for negotiations but have not heard back.

“The union is demanding immediate wage increases of more than 25 per cent which is clearly not reasonable or competitive for any business,” she says. “Their wage proposals remain above the wages of even the largest casinos operating in Metro Vancouver.”

The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union confirms there are no scheduled future talks between the two parties.

Currently 675 employees in Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon have been on strike since June 29. All four casino properties remain open for operation as the strike continues.

Find past stories on the labour dispute here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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