Kamloops casino strike officially over

By Ashley Legassic
November 9, 2018 - 11:07am Updated: November 9, 2018 - 6:08pm

KAMLOOPS — After more than four months of being off the job, Gateway Casino workers in the Thompson-Okanagan are set to get back to work.

Nearly 700 B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union members voted to ratify a new contract with their employer, ending a 19-week strike.

“I am so impressed by the solidarity and courage of our members,” said Stephanie Smith, president of the BCGEU in a news release. “They should be proud of what they achieved by sticking together throughout the bargaining process, especially over the past 19 weeks on the picket line.”

The four-year deal includes an average 23.5 per cent wage increase over the life of the agreement and improved benefits, particularly for part-time workers.

“Our members are going back to work, which is great news,” Smith said. “But the ratification vote was close, which means there is more work to be done in all four of these workplaces. That work starts as soon as the picket lines come down.”

Workers will be heading back to casinos in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton over this weekend and operations are expected to resume to pre-strike levels. 

“On behalf of our members I want to thank our friends in the communities of Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon and our friends in the labour movement for their support during the strike,” said Smith. 

Picket lines are now down across the Thompson-Okanagan.

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