Loto-Québec has issued a statement, in which it expressed its disappointment with CSN's move to disrupt the negotiation process for a second time. The Crown corporation stated that it has offered a number of possible solutions to address the union's concerns. However, according to the employer, those terms were declined in the last two days of discussions.
Unionized staff members of several Quebec casinos went out on strike in June 2023 after they voted on an unlimited general strike. They demand better wages to match the rising cost of living in the province and an additional CA$1 per hour of work. However, the employer argues that the demands are way too steep and refuses to match them.
Willing to Resume Negotiations
In its latest press, the gambling corporation stated that it is committed to continuing serious and constructive decisions with the labour union to make enhancements to working conditions while ensuring that public funds are managed responsibly. The Crown previously claimed that the union made unrealistic demands of requesting a 24% increase over three years.
The employer remarked that at the start the union demanded more than double what was given to all of the Crown agency's other employees in 2022. It stated that despite the progress since then, the gap between union demands and the latest offer is still very large. It noted that the seven other collective agreements from 2022 were well-received by all parties in the same job classification.
Additionally, the Crown claims that it offers good working conditions for all its members as casino salaries are higher than the reference market. It also argued that most CSN-affiliated employees benefited from the positive financial results of the last year through the incentive pay for which they are eligible for. Hence, saying that almost 65% of working hours provided bonuses.
In its press, the organization also discussed that it experiences the same attraction and retention problems as most corporations. But still, its attractive casino conditions have provided over 300 new hires since April 1, 2023. Also, the corporation explained that almost 40% of its personnel at gaming locations have more than 20 years of experience.
Update on Business Hours at Properties
Due to the ongoing picket lines that started in June, some of the Crown's locations operate under new working hours. Casino Lac-Leamy, Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivières and Salon de jeux de Québec follow their usual schedule. But Montréal, Charlevoix and Mont-Tremblant casinos function via a modified schedule specific to each location and some services are limited.
Full working hours for each of the gaming establishments can be found on the casinos' official websites, informed the employer. It also remarked that the strike does not involve dealers at its Montréal, Charlevoix and Lac-Leamy locations. Also, its online gaming platform, lotoquebec.com is also unaffected and resumes regular digital operations.
Source: “Loto-Québec invites union to resume negotiations” Loto-Québec, August 16, 2023