Casino workers in Halifax win overwhelming victory in union vote

    Union representatives to speak at press conference at 2pm Sunday
    September 9th

    HALIFAX, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - At the conclusion of long-awaited Labour
Relations Board proceedings conducted this past week, ballot boxes for workers
at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax were opened after a four-month delay since
their May 3rd/4th 2007 union certification vote. Workers at the Casino and
representatives of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are now
celebrating an overwhelming victory for gaming sector employees in Halifax.
    The results of the Labour Board hearings and vote-counting proceedings,
which concluded just prior to 11 pm on Friday night, determined that 231
Casino employees voted in favour of making improvements in their workplace
through joining the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 902,
while 85 employees voted against.
    This overwhelming victory of over 73% of the votes counted confirms what
has been termed an historic victory for the labour movement in Nova Scotia and
the largest successful private-sector union organizing victory in well over
twenty-five years in this province.
    "This is a great achievement," says Sharleen Stewart, SEIU Canadian
International Vice-President. "Halifax Casino workers now have a strong voice
in their workplace."
    "This was a tough organizing campaign with many barriers along the way,"
she continues, "and due to the determination and commitment of the Casino
workers, aided by SEIU's National and Local 902 staff, they have made a
positive change which will allow them a much improved working life."
    "The successful struggle of workers at the Halifax Casino to form their
union gives confidence to gaming and other private-sector unorganized workers
across Nova Scotia who themselves would hope to be able to make improvements
in their workplaces through having a union contract," said SEIU Canada
National Organizer Tony Tracy. "Workers in Nova Scotia deserve and demand to
receive the same level of respect and dignity in their work as has been won by
unionized workers across Canada."
    Still before the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board is a separate
Application for Certification filed by SEIU Local 902 for a distinct and
separate unit of some 41 Security Officers at Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax
who voted in early June to join SEIU Local 902, but whose ballot boxes still
remained sealed at the Board. The issues around their separate bargaining unit
will be heard and determined at the Labour Board in future proceedings, but
representatives of SEIU have expressed confidence about the outcome of the
vote by Security Officers to join the union.
    The Casino management have also brought an application under Section
25(10) of the Nova Scotia Trade Union Act to have the Casino workers union
certification dismissed, despite the vastly overwhelming and clearly expressed
sentiments of workers at the Casino to form a union with SEIU. While the union
and its legal counsel see no merit in their arguments on this issue, the
Employer's application to dismiss the results of the vote will be heard in
front of the Labour Board at an upcoming hearing which has not yet been
scheduled by the Labour Board. The Union is confident of a positive outcome on
this issue.
    "SEIU Local 902 is proud and excited to welcome Casino workers in Halifax
into the union's membership," said SEIU Local 902 President Cynthia Wamback.
"Their strength in their fight to form a union in the face of serious
opposition by their employer is inspiring to our membership throughout Nova
    Representatives of SEIU and workers from Casino Nova Scotia in Halifax
will speak about the successful union organizing campaign at a media
conference on SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 2007 at 2 pm outside the Casino facility at
1983 Upper Water Street.

    The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is the largest and
fastest growing union in North America, with 98,000 workers in Canada and 1.9
million workers worldwide.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Tony Tracy, SEIU Canada
National Organizer - Cell: (902) 233-1713; John Benoit, SEIU Local 902
Internal Organizer - Cell: (902) 880-8483

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