Casino/Employees heading to mediation

Gateway Casinos and their employees will sit down with a mediator this weekend to try and hash out a new contract.

Gayle Furgala is part of the bargaining committee for the BC Government Employees’ Union(BCGEU), representing the casino workers.  She says negotiations started positively in January.  “It did get off to a very good start.  We were getting places and then when we presented our (salary expectations) it came to screeching stop…well, not really.  It just slowed down a bit.  We would like a living wage and most of my workers in the casino do not make a living wage.  Some make as low as $11/hour and the living wage in Kelowna is $18/hour.”

Last week, over 675 Gateway Casinos employees across the Okanagan voted 93 percent in favour of job action.  That includes workers at Playtime Casino in Kelowna along with employees in Penticton, Kamloops and Vernon.

Furgala says the Union wants to hear the mediator's recommendations before deciding the next move, but at this point no strike has been planned.