OTTAWA, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Contract talks have broken off between
unionized security staff at Rideau Carleton Raceway Slots and the
employer. The 38 security staff, who have given their union a 100 per
cent strike mandate, could be on strike as early as 12:01 a.m. on Feb.
At issue are benefits, as well as parking charges if there is a move to
a new facility. Greg McVeigh, staff negotiator for the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union, said the position the employer has taken is
both ridiculous, and mean-spirited.
"We have already offered to take a wage freeze, which means employee
wages will be frozen for a total five years," McVeigh said. "All the
staff here want is to have their benefits, which are below security
staff at all other OLG gaming facilities, on par with other security
staff. The total cost for all 38 staff is only $4,000, yet the employer
refuses to move on this issue."
The largest issue for the members is parking. Currently, there is no fee
to park at Rideau Carleton. However, if a new owner takes over
operations and moves the facility downtown, parking could cost as much
as $20 per day, a cost the employer wants employees to pay as well.
"Security staff earn less than $20 per hour," McVeigh said. "These
parking charges would reduce their income by 12.5 per cent, which is a
massive hit. This is not a cost item for the employer…it's additional
revenue, and they want to claw it out of their own employees. They
should be ashamed of that."
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas believes that the gaming
operation, which earns $142 million per year in revenue, is trying to
make itself as attractive as possible for the new buyer, possibly
Caesar's Entertainment Inc. "Rideau Carleton cares more about the sale
of the business than the welfare of their employees, and their actions
at the bargaining table prove that," Thomas said. "These employees keep
everyone at this gaming operation safe and secure. To treat them this
way is, in our opinion, completely pathetic."
Talks are set to resume on Feb. 6 with the assistance of a provincial
For further information:
Greg McVeigh: 519-831-3472
Pierre Mainville, 1st Vice-President, OPSEU Local 495: 819-360-5901