Montreal casino workers threaten to strike during Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend

June 5, 2023
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But Loto-Québec says business will continue as usual in Montreal's casinos.

Montreal casino employees have decided on a five-day strike that could commence on the weekend of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix.

Over 1,000 Montreal casino employees have given themselves a five-day strike mandate to be used “at the opportune moment” — and it looks like the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix weekend could fall into this category.

Negotiations with their employer Loto-Québec (who runs the casino), have been continuing since June 2022 and so far 91% of the union members have voted in favor of the five-day strike.

Those who will be striking work in customer service, catering and security at the casinos. The only workers who won’t be striking are dealers, as they are represented by another union.

Wages are the main reason for the strike, with employees asking for an increase that represents the equivalent of the rise in the cost of living plus $1 per hour.

The Canadian Grand Prix is an annual motor racing event held since 1961. It has been part of the Formula One World Championship since 1967. The Formula 1 race will take place between June 16 to June 18 on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit on Île Notre-Dame, where the casino is also located.

Workers at the Casino de Gatineau and Jeux en Ligne have also issued similar five-day strike mandates, while employees at the Charlevoix and Mont-Tremblant casinos are expected to vote in the next few days.

Loto-Québec reacted to the strike announcement, claiming that business would continue as usual in Montreal’s casinos despite the strikes that may commence.

Loto-Québec said it considers it has already presented “two comprehensive and generous monetary offers to address the major issues of attraction, retention and the economic context.”


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