Gateway casino strike enters its fifth month, but there’s movement
Employees of several properties owned by British Columbia’s Gateway Casinos have been on a strike four the past five months. Several attempts, including most recently at the end of September, to find a suitable solution to the strikers’ concerns have failed, prolonging the debacle and have employees continuing to pound the pavement outside the casino venues. There is now a slight glimmer of hope that the strike may end, as the two sides are participating in "informal" discussions.
No new details were provided regarding the discussions, but a representative of one of the two unions participating in the strike said that an announcement could be made in the next several days. Gateway and the unions agreed to not discuss the negotiations with the media until something conclusive had been produced.
The strike is being led by over 675 unionized workers from Gateway casinos located in Vernon, Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton. They walked off their jobs on June 29, almost a year after their contracts had terminated. Earlier attempts to reach an agreement on increased wages and improved working conditions failed, leading the workers to strike.
Earlier this month, Gateway tried to sue the strikers and the unions, arguing that they were engaged in "unlawful activity." The company asserted that the employees were using abusive and insulting tactics to try to force Gateway’s hand, and that they had attacked non-striking workers, as well as the public. The judge presiding over the suit dismissed all the charges, handing a small victory to the workers.