Gateway and BCGEU headed back to mediation next week

By Greg Fry
July 5, 2018 - 11:26am

KAMLOOPS — The BC Government Employees Union (BCGEU) has confirmed it is heading back to mediation talks with Gateway Casinos.

Close to 675 casino workers — including about 200 Cascades Casino workers in Kamloops — set up picket lines last Friday after previous mediation talks failed to bring both parties closer together.

"Yes, those dates have been confirmed," BCGEU President Stephanie Smith told CFJC Today. "We will be going back to the table on July 9 to July 11. And we're looking forward to rolling our sleeves up and hope the employer does the same."

She acknowledges the biggest sticking point between the two sides continues to be wages.

"You know the experience that patrons have at the casino is in no small part due to the amazing work that our members do. And we're just asking the casinos to recognize their contributions."

Smith adds pickets will likely remain up until a new agreement is ratified by union members. Both sides have been without a deal since the last one expired in September 2017.

And despite being off work for almost a week, she says worker morale remains high.

"Very high, actually. I think people have been super impressed by the support of the community. You can hear honks in the background and folks are actually choosing not to cross the picket line which goes a long way to support the morale of the workers."

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