Casino Rama Workers Approve the Tentative Contract Proposal
Canada’s Casino Rama workers have ratified the new 3-year work agreement that was made possible after negotiations during the last week of January 2019. The approval of the deal basically endorsed the tentative contract proposed by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment. Employees can now anticipate a wage increase of over 10% for the next three years.
Following a month of intense negotiations and discussions, the workers have finally expressed their satisfaction with the results of their protests. Labour Union Unifor Local 1019 led the negotiations, and is the body that protects the Ram employees’ rights and stood with them every step of the way to obtain better working conditions and benefits.
The negotiation talks between the Union and Gateway took over 18 hours during the last part of their deliberations trying to come up with refined details of the new agreement for the employees. The session was a heated up since it went past the negotiations deadline. This posed a potential threat that would see the workers head to the streets and possibly strike. The first days of January, 95% of the workers were in support of a strike should their demands not be considered. Before the approval, the results were then explained to the employees and it was after that they voted to approve or disagree which would force the committee to start the whole process over again.
A total of 800 Workers cast Their Votes
The casino workers and their colleagues at Rama’s adjacent hotel were offered with the opportunity to review the proposed agreement and weigh its advantages and disadvantages before they could vote. This took place at the Rama resort where the staffs were taken through the proposed agreement of service and how it would benefit them. There was a gathering of over 820 employees who showed interest in learning how the contract would transform their lives for the next couple of years.
After the employees were educated on the tentative agreement, they then were allowed to vote. The results revealed that approximately 72% of those in attendance agreed that the proposed terms could significantly bring about improvements over the existing ones. This was a majority vote that saw the contract being implemented in both the Rama casino and hotel. With the new tentative agreement, the workers are hopeful for better working conditions and improved remunerations for the next couple of years.
Unifor ensured that the rights of the employees remain protected and that the demand that they had previously expressed were not acted upon. The new contract will cover years beyond 2021, gradually increasing the wages over this time span. Based on the contract, the employees will now have a 10% increase in their wages which was their aim all along. Additionally, the contract will bring significant improvements in their pension scheme.
Improved Wages, Pensions and More
For a long time the casino workers have been concerned about their wages and benefit schemes. They have always felt that theirs are the lowest one in the region. This was soon changed by passing of the tentative 3-year contract. In addition to the increase in their wages, the casino employees will see an end to the co-payments on the benefits, which is another area that the contract will improve.
The new agreement will also ensure that the ten emergencies off days are retained. So as to keep everything running as per the requirements and in accordance with the working circumstances in other Casinos within this location, the contract was discussed in its existing state. During the voting session, it was required that 51% of the casino employees to vote in favour of the agreement.