Strike imminent at Niagara’s casinos

Niagara Falls – A strike by over 350 security staff at Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview is set for 12:01 a.m. Friday, June 2, and could seriously impact on the safety of patrons says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

„We have been trying to settle this contract for months,“ said Jodi Hutton, President of OPSEU Local 278. „So far, it appears that the employer isn’t interested in avoiding a labour dispute.“

Parts of the negotiations with Falls Management Company include job security and equity. The employer also refuses to fill full-time security positions, instead relying on part-time jobs to cover the gaps. Today, 46 per cent of the security staff are part-time, a situation Hutton says is unacceptable.

„This American-led corporation promised Niagara Falls good full time jobs,“ Hutton said. „They are raking in millions for themselves and the province each year. This community deserves better than part-time jobs.“

Hutton says that if there is a strike, patrons of the casino will likely be at risk.

„The employer will probably try to rely on managers and scab labour to protect the public,“ Hutton said. „They don’t have the training or ability to do a proper job. If there is a strike, we are strongly advising gamblers to stay away from these casinos.“

The contract between the security staff and Casino Niagara expired March 31, 2006.