Gateway Casinos negotiations reach an impasse

Talks between Gateway Casinos and members of the BC Government and Service Employees Union have broken off.

On Tuesday morning, over a hundred employees of Gateway Casinos from Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and Kamloops rallied in Kelowna to push for higher wages.

According to the Union’s bargaining committee, a meeting was arranged with a company representative that morning, until the rep backed out because of the rally. He said he would meet with the committee the next day, as long as no demonstrators were present.

According to BCGE Union president Stephanie Smith, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement, but a strike vote isn't coming just yet.

“Our goal is not to go on strike,” says Smith. “Our goal is to get a really good agreement for our members, and a strike is a tool in the toolbox to do that, but there are lots of steps between where we are now and where that might end up.”

Talks between Gateway Casinos and the Union began back in January, but stopped in March, prompting Tuesday’s rally.

So far, over 95 percent of all Gateway Casinos workers have signed a petition to raise wages to the industry standard.