dealers’ strike intensifies as negotiations stall

Montreal Casino dealers have been on strike for several weeks. Although the casino is still operating, it has already lost a lot of revenue. Negotiations for a new collective agreement have come to a standstill, with casino employees complaining of ever-worsening working conditions. Decryption.

Montreal Casino strike: more than 500 croupiers go on strike

In Montreal, Canada, a total of 521 dealers belonging to the Canadian Union of Public Employees have been working without a collective agreement since April 1, 2020. Tired of waiting, they have decided to go on strike.

However, even though the dealers have been on strike for several weeks, the casino’s operations have remained, so far, intact. Loto-Québec, the operator that manages and runs the Casino de Montréal, recently stated that the casino’s gaming tables, slot machines and restaurant are still operational. Only the casino’s poker room has temporarily suspended its services.

In a press release, Loto-Quebec said it was very disappointed that the dealers’ union was maintaining the strike when the elements necessary to reach an agreement between the two parties had been made available. Loto-Québec also stated ” recognize that the last two years have been difficult for the employees “.

What are the demands of the Canadian Union of Public Employees?

Jean-Pierre Proulx, a union spokesman, said the Montreal Casino gives a portion of its revenues to the province of Quebec to fund health and education needs, something the casino employees want to contribute to. However, they are not willing to do so at any cost, especially when their health is at stake.

At present, the conflict between Loto-Québec and the employees lies in a break in working hours that the casino does not wish to pay for. According to Jean-Pierre Proulx, the croupiers demand a 15-minute break per hour of work to avoid the risk of injury as they handle countless cards and chips.

On the side of Loto-Québec, the employer asserted that the paid break of two hours per workday currently in effect was sufficient, especially since it had not observed an increase in the number of injuries such as that mentioned by the union.

Another problem: pay for new employees. According to the union, Loto-Québec wants to pay newcomers 90% of the lowest salary scale, while management already considers the entry-level salary to be 20% above the market.

It appears that the union and Loto-Quebec are at an impasse, and if neither side can reach a consensus, the employees may be on strike for much longer than anyone would like to believe…

Kayleigh Williams