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Home Gambling Industry Loto-Québec calls Montreal Casino strike “unfortunate”

Loto-Québec calls Montreal Casino strike “unfortunate”

23 May 2022
3 min. read

A Ferris Wheel in Montreal in autumn.

Casinos in Montreal and Quebec are still struggling to bring everyone back to normal employment, prompting workers at the Montreal Casino to launch what has been described as an "unlimited general strike" over the weekend. The employees call for better working conditions and cite reduced pay for new workers as part of their concerns regarding their future as part of the industry.

Not only that, but several employees have stepped forward and cited poor working conditions as possibly endangering the health and lives of people working on-site at the Montreal Casino. The workers formed a picket line on Saturday at the Île-Ste-Hélène metro station, which leads to the casino, hoping to raise awareness about their struggles.

One of the people interviewed by the Montreal Gazette, a croupier, said that workers deserved better working conditions. For one Jean-Pierre Proulx, who is also a union representative, casinos need to appreciate the hard work that their workers put in.

He gave an example from his day-to-day-work and said that dealers would be dealing up to 10,000 cards a day and usually six out of seven weekdays. This adds up to various health issues. Loto-Quebec, the provincial regulator, which is in charge of the province’s casinos, commented that it was disappointed with the stake but expected normal hours to continue. The regulator has objected to claims that the working conditions in any of its establishments were anything but safe.

One of the issues casino workers face today is that their collective bargaining agreement expired back in March 2020. This means that they have fewer options to negotiate, although they still represent a big number of the workforce with some 521 members of the union who are willing to protect their interests.

The provincial lottery has stated that croupiers are asking for a 30-minute break for every hour of work they clock, which would be "unusual," considering industry standards. This comes as the lottery wants to decrease the starting salary to $17.44 from $18.40 presently, but Proulx has objected. Loto-Québec has not walked away from the negotiating table and it wants to see a responsible agreement put in place that would protect the interests of both workers and its own business.

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23 May 2022
3 min. read