The president of the BC Government Employees Union believes a strike by Gateway Casino workers is having an impact on business at the four outlets.
Stephanie Smith, who was in the Okanagan meeting with striking members this week, says they’re getting lots of support from people on the picket lines, including some customers who are staying away from the casinos.
“If they want their casino back open again, and they want these folks back at work providing a quality experience, then we’d ask them to please respect our lines, don’t patronize the casinos at this point until we are getting these folks back to work.”
About 700 workers walked off the job Friday at casinos in Vernon, Penticton, Kelowna and Kamloops.
The two sides will resume mediation Monday, set for three days, with the Smith hoping to see a better offer on wages, from the company.
“The mediator has to feel that we’re making progress, and that means trying to come closer to where we can reach an agreement. And one of the reason why we asked the mediator to book out was simply because we were so far apart,” Smith tells Beach Radio News.
The company’s director of public relations, Tanya Gabara, was asked to comment on the union encouraging people not to go to the casinos, in respect of their strike.
“We hope the union and those picketing will respect the right for people to visit our business without impediment or harassment,” said Gabara in an email to Beach Radio News.
“The only way to get our unionized employees back to work is for us to get back to the table. We had dates booked for this week (Jul 4-6) however the union told us they were no longer available. Mediation dates have now been confirmed for next week (Jul 9-11). We remain committed to having respectful discussions with the union to reach a mutually acceptable agreement,” added Gabara.