Casino staff vote 98-per-cent in favour of contract

Ottawa – More than 400 Casino du Lac-Leamy workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour for a new contract that will give them pay increases of two to 2.5 per cent during the next five years, averting a planned strike by just one day.

Alain Savignac, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees local representing cashiers, slot machine attendants, doormen, cloakroom attendants, customer service employees, parking lot attendants and other workers, said 98 per cent of union members voted for the contract on Wednesday.

Mr. Savignac said the agreement improves medical insurance and pensions for CUPE members who work at the casino, which has about 1,600 employees.

CUPE spokesman Jean-Pierre Proulx said he will meet with union members next week and, pending their approval, an official agreement should be reached soon after.

„The important thing was to have a real retirement plan as employees of Loto-Québec,“ said Jean-François Larochelle, a slot machine worker. „Insurance was also improved. Those are our two big points. I am very satisfied with the result.“

The settlement is part of a deal between CUPE and Loto-Québec, which operates casinos in Gatineau, Montreal and Charlevoix.

Card dealers and security workers, who are also represented by CUPE, vote on the contract proposal Friday and Monday, respectively.

Casino spokeswoman Catherine Schellenberg said Loto-Québec is still in negotiations with the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), which represents food and beverage workers in the three casinos.