Potential strike at the Lac Leamy Casino
The 80 security guards and surveillance technicians at the Lac Leamy Casino are threatening to call a general strike to express their frustration with the intransigence of the employers’ representatives. These union members have been trying to renew their collective agreement, which expired in March 2018.
They voted unanimously in favour of the strike on November 3.
The negotiations have been at an impasse, in particular over the proposed salary increases, deemed insufficient because they are below the rate of inflation, which continues to climb.
The union has noted that despite the pandemic, Loto-Québec reaped profits of nearly $200 million in the first quarter of 2021–2022. In addition, between April and June 2021, the government corporation totaled sales of over $400 million and foresees paying $1 billion to the Government of Quebec.
« Loto-Québec is clearly in a position to offer decent salary increases that will not impoverish its employees, but they don’t want to pay,” says Michel Despatie, president of CUPE 3959.
The situation at Lac Leamy Casino is likely to deteriorate further as two other unions, representing the employees of the general unit and the croupiers, are currently renewing their collective agreements as well.
Over the next few weeks, the union will launch a public campaign to denounce what is happening at Lac Leamy. Pressure tactics could culminate in the total closure of the casino.
« We want to negotiate, but the employer is insisting on offering us lower rates of wage increases than granted to employees doing the same work in its other gaming establishments. That is simply unacceptable, » concluded Guy Gosselin, CUPE union advisor.
With more than 122,000 members in Quebec, CUPE represents some 3475 people working in government corporations and public agencies. CUPE is also present in the following sectors: health and social services, communications, education, universities, energy, municipalities, air and land transport, the mixed sector, and maritime transport. It is the largest affiliate of the FTQ.