Workers at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver in Coquitlam were set to walk off the job Friday morning, according to the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union.
Negotiations and mediation for a first contract in 2017 failed after union representatives and the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, which owns the casino, were too far apart on a number of issues, the union said.
“Many of the employees at Hard Rock haven’t had a wage increase in over 10 years,” said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.
“Wages have not kept up with the rising cost of living and now a large number of workers are working two or three jobs and still struggling to get by.”
Workers are also looking for improved health benefits, a more stable pension plan and fairness in scheduling and hours of work, Smith said.
Hundreds of workers and supporters are expected to rally in front of the casino Friday afternoon.
Jimmy Ho, general manager at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, said in an emailed statement to Black Press Media that despite labour disruption, the casino will remain open.
“After many months of negotiations, we are disappointed for our team members and our guests that we will be experiencing a labour disruption as of May 11 at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver,” he said.
“Unionized team members initiated a strike and walked out despite Hard Rock Casino Vancouver’s efforts which included offering a collective agreement that is at or above industry standards and that does not include rollbacks.”