On June 11 a bargaining committee made up of workers from the Elbow River Casino met with their management group. The employees were accompanied by Union Representatives and professional negotiators. The atmosphere was very exciting as, for the first time in the history of the Elbow River Casino, management was required by law to meet with and hear the bargaining demands of the hard working staff at the workplace.
The managerial team was respectful and positive. We can’t know what tone or direction bargaining will take in the future, but employees from the Elbow River that attended bargaining found the meeting productive, and were gratified by its optimistic tone.
The Chief Union Negotiator reminded Elbow River management of how intelligent the staff was. Working in a complex matrix of customer relations, exchange of large amounts of money, and adherence to AGLC rules. Union negotiators suggested to management that employees deserved a bigger piece of the gaming “pie,” and new rights in a written contract that respected their profession and enhanced their sense of dignity and respect at work.
TIPS were a subject of conversation, the Union suggested that gaming managers, supervisors, and pit bosses should receive an enhanced salary as they have difficult roles. But the Union also argued that all TIPS should go to the front line employees who interacted most directly with customers, and that TIPS should not be shared in anyway with managerial officials. A variety of other issues were canvassed with the Union insisting that the outstanding employees of Elbow River receive the most outstanding terms and conditions of employment in the gaming industry. In terms of economic context, the Union argued that the location of the casino was poised to take advantage of an area that was growing in population and prosperity.
The company was accompanied by a professional negotiating consultant. We are hopeful that, with her guidance, labour relations at the casino will become fairer and that a new Union Contract will be negotiated without any significant stress or conflict.
Elbow River management and the Union have agreed to set up a bargaining schedule to try to ensure that a new Union Contract is settled fairly, and within a reasonable amount of time. Please feel free to talk to any of the employees who attended bargaining about what happened, they include:
When more bargaining sessions are imminent, we will let you know. Be reminded that all gaming employees from the Casino are welcome to attend and watch the process.
We have asked the company to provide us with a great deal of information about the workplace. We have asked to see employee files to determine if there is anything in the employee’s records that they have not yet seen that could get them in trouble. We have also asked to see all documents relating to the benefit plans and workplace policies and procedures. We are hoping that the employer will provide us with this and other important information soon.
Stand by for more information and be reminded that our bargaining power will grow and there will be more positive outcomes if casino employees act in unity and solidarity.
United we bargain, divided we beg!