Union alleges unsafe operations as casino labour dispute drags on in Thompson-Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Union alleges unsafe operations as casino labour dispute drags on in Thompson-Okanagan

Casino workers are seen walking a picket line at Cascades Casino in Kamloops, Monday, July 9, 2018. The BCGEU members in Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton have been on strike since June 29, 2018.
August 24, 2018 - 11:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - There is no end in sight to the labour dispute at four casinos in the Thompson-Okanagan, with the union making allegations about unsafe operations and suspicious customer behaviour that could indicate money laundering.

The 675 B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union workers went on strike on June 29 in its labour dispute with Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. over wages. Picket lines are up at the casinos in Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton. The two sides are not bargaining at this time.

The union has requested the B.C. Lottery Corporation investigate the casinos.

“Our members have witnessed a range of alleged incidents from failure to ID casino customers, to over-serving customers, to failing to respond to customer behaviour that could potentially be suspicious in terms of money laundering,” BCGEU press secretary Danielle Marchand says.

“We are asking the B.C. Lottery Corporation to investigate our members’ allegations,” Marchand says.

The director of public relations for Gateway Casinos Tanya Gabara says the allegations from the union are completely untrue.

“It is a desperate attempt to malign our business and employees,” Gabara says. “We feel the BCGEU should focus on getting back to the bargaining table to allow these 675 employees to return to work instead of making false allegations that are unfounded and disappointing."

Casino workers gathered at the B.C Lottery Corporation's head office in Kamloops on Monday, Aug. 20 in an effort to get corporation to investigate their claims.

“BCLC is not a party to the labour dispute between Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited and its unionized employees, and has no legal standing to intervene,” BCLC media spokesperson Anjee Gill says.

The company says it is waiting for the BCGEU to return to the bargaining table to resume meditated talks.

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