Casino Security Staff in Canada Gets Ready to Strike

March 22, 2006
Possible strike at Casino Niagara over security's shift staffing levels, changes in discipline

NIAGARA FALLS, ON - Security staff at one of Ontario's largest casinos have voted 92 per cent in favour of strike action if talks fail to produce a new collective agreement. Security staff, members of OPSEU Local 278, are currently in contract talks with the employer, a consortium led by Chicago-based Hyatt Corporation.

"Our members are standing firm," said Local 278 President Jody Hutton. "They have said over and over that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get a new agreement that is fair, and addresses outstanding problems. We are united behind our bargaining team."

Hutton said that some of the main demands that are on the bargaining table include fair shift scheduling, reasonable disciplinary language and the hiring of more full-time staff.

Virgery Vanier, OPSEU Staff Representative and negotiator for the local, said she hopes this vote will send a message to the employer that the union is serious about its demands.

"The members have made it very clear that they want their concerns addressed," Vanier said. "The members are ready to take action, but we are optimistic that we can achieve a settlement without disrupting operations at the casino."

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