Casino workers in Vernon off the job for fair wages | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Casino workers in Vernon off the job for fair wages

Shannon Roach poses in front of the information booth where she hands out brochures and explains why the Lake City Casino workers are on strike.

VERNON - Vernon casino employees spent this long weekend on the picket line outside their place of work.

The B.C. Government Employees Union gave 24-hour strike notice last week and the workers went on strike on Friday, June 29, along with their counterparts at Gateway Casinos in Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton. The union represents over 675 employees at the four casinos.

The striking workers at the Lake City Casino on Anderson Way in Vernon carried bright yellow signs calling for fair wages and set up a table to hand out information brochures.

Shannon Roach is one of the workers walking a picket line in Vernon.

“Everyone on this line is losing money,” she admits. “But they’re here to say, ‘It’s not right.’”

Roach says even with the pay increase workers are still making under $15 per hour, adding tips should not be a part of the negotiation process. She says the banks do not consider tips guaranteed income.

“If you’re sick or if you have to take time off, you’re not making those tips,” Roach says. “So you’re back down to your base level of only your wages, which isn’t enough to support anybody. And it’s just not fair.”

Gateway Casinos says in media release the four casinos will remain open during the strike, but some services will not be available.

The company says it was surprised the union ended the mediation process. 

"We remain open to meeting with the union and hope that they choose to return to mediation," the company says.

The union has said it is looking for wages that would bring its employees in-line with other casino workers in the province.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 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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