Loto-Quebec proposes union talks as indefinite general strike by casino workers continues

The salary row resulted in Wednesday's demonstration in Montreal

The CSN’s decision to pursue an indefinite general strike has been described as ‘disappointing’ by Loto-Quebec, which has reiterated its desire to hold further talks with the union.

CSN-affiliated employees at casinos in Gatineau, Montreal, Mont-Tremblant and Charlevoix announced an ‘unlimited’ general strike on June 23, a decision which has disrupted operations at the latter three destinations with certain services only offered on a ‘limited basis’.

The salary row escalated to new heights yesterday as CSN members from the four casinos held a demonstration in Montreal, with Loto-Quebec subsequently issuing its latest statement on the matter, having last responded on June 23.

In a post published on its website, the crown corporation noted: “Loto-Québec is disappointed with the union’s decision to pursue an indefinite general strike when all the elements necessary to reach an agreement are available. The employer has already tabled a global and generous monetary offer.

“The Corporation is determined to propose significant improvements to working conditions while ensuring that public funds are managed responsibly.”

Loto-Quebec offered further details of its row with the union which, it claims, has demanded evening, night and weekend bonuses are doubled, in addition to a salary bonus which represents an increase of 24% over three years.

CSN, meanwhile, has always maintained that its workers salary demands are equivalent to the rising costs of living, plus $1 extra per hour.

Despite the protestations of the union, Loto-Quebec remains steadfast in its belief that its offers have been fair, further noting that salaries in casinos are ‘well above the reference market, at more than 20% for the majority of job categories’.

“The Company wishes to resume serious and constructive discussions with the union and the conciliator in order to reach a fair settlement for all of the organization’s employees while ensuring responsible management of public funds,” concluded Loto-Quebec.

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