Canadian casino workers are to hold a solidarity rally, titled #NoJobsNoDice amid job cut concerns, after Canada’s largest union in the private sector expressed outrage at British Columbia-based Gateway Casinos as the firm continues job cuts.
Members of Unifor at Casino Rama Resort are to hold the rally to address worker and community concerns about layoffs and cuts to services made by the firm, after it gained control of Ontario’s central gaming bundle.
Coming as part of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s land-based gaming modernisation, the bundle was the seventh in the region to transition to a service provider.
The move saw the firm gain day-to-day operation of Casino Rama Resort on Chippewas of Rama First Nation’s Land and OLG Slots at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, which was later renamed Gateway Casinos Innisfil.
“The OLG rushed to privatise Casino Rama and misled the public about job losses and service cuts it would bring about,” stated Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “Casino privatisation has proven to be a bust for the people of Orillia and Central Ontario.”
The #NoJobsNoDice solidarity rally is to take place in Orilla, where the property in question in located, on Thursday 8 August, and comes after the latest strand of jobs cuts saw layoffs include 65 full-time and five part-time Casino Rama workers.
In a media release Unifor stressed that “The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s modernisation plan was heavily criticised by the Ontario Auditor-General in 2014 and 2016.
“Specifically, the Auditor-General found that the OLG did not disclose planned job losses, overstated revenue and investment projections, and did not consult key municipalities about its plans.”
Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario regional director, added: “Since Gateway took over Casino Rama, hundreds of jobs have been reshuffled and alarmingly, 18 per cent of the casino’s indigenous workforce are no longer there.
“The #NoJobsNoDice solidarity rally will unite gaming workers and the public to protect good jobs and put a stop to precarious work at Casino Rama.”
Unifor represents 315,000 works “in every major area of the economy” with a membership of 8,700 in the casino industry, striving to create progressive change for a better future.