River Rock Casino workers in Richmond, B.C., negotiate first collective agreement

Comes after full year of bargaining with employer

Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) members at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, B.C., voted by 81 per cent Sept. 25 to ratify a four-year collective agreement today after more than a year of negotiations with Great Canadian Gaming Corporation.

"The agreement will bring vast improvements to working conditions and makes impressive strides in job security, pensions, benefits and a much stronger wage grid," said Stephanie Smith, BCGEU president.

Almost 1,000 members at River Rock will receive an average 19 per cent wage increase making them among the best-paid casino workers in the province. Extended health and dental care, parental and adoption leave, and fair vacation entitlements are also among the benefits, said the union.

River Rock Casino Resort, owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, is one of the most profitable casinos in B.C., yet when compared to other unionized casinos in the province, workers at River Rock generally earned far less in wages.

The BCGEU is one of the largest unions in B.C. with more than 73,000 members across all sectors of the economy, including more than 3,800 workers in casinos.

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