Casino ac­tion on the cards

An­gry staff to tar­get fes­tive sea­son

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWSFRONT - ANNE MATHER

WORK­ERS at Wrest Point Casino are threat­en­ing in­dus­trial ac­tion dur­ing the busy Christ­mas pe­riod fol­low­ing staff frus­tra­tion about pro­posed ros­ter changes.

Em­ploy­ees across a range of casino ser­vices, from gam­ing to food and bev­er­age, are fight­ing to main­tain their tra­di­tional four-week ros­ter cy­cle.

United Voice Tas­ma­nia sec­re­tary Jan­nette Arm­strong said a group of work­ers im­posed stop­pages dur­ing this week’s Mel­bourne Cup and were now ready to take ac­tion over the peak pe­ri­ods ahead.

“United Voice mem­bers at Wrest Point are fed up,” she said.

“They are res­o­lute and will do what­ever they have to do — even if that means strik­ing over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod.”

The United Voice union cov­ers a wide range of work­ers at the Fed­eral Group’s Wrest Point Casino, in­clud­ing gam­ing, food and bev­er­age, re­cep­tion and ho­tel clean­ing.

Ms Arm­strong said there had been months of pro­tracted in­dus­trial ac­tion at the casino and this week mem­bers voted down the em­ployer’s wages and con­di­tions of­fer for a third time this year.

She said a threat to re­duce ros­ter se­cu­rity was one of the key con­cerns.

“Many of the staff at the casino are work­ing on a 24-hour ros­ter, and at the mo­ment they are on a four-week ros­ter cy­cle,” Ms Arm­strong said.

“But the em­ployer wants to halve that to a two-week cy­cle.”

So far the in­dus­trial ac­tion has taken the form of staff wear­ing badges and hand­ing out in­for­ma­tion to clients, but it height­ened on Tues­day when key staff walked off the job for two hours dur­ing the Mel­bourne Cup.

“The Fed­eral Group went to the re­cent state elec­tion feign­ing con­cern for their em­ployee’s jobs. We want the broader com­mu­nity to see the truth,” Ms Arm­strong said.

United Voice del­e­gate Si­mon Davis said the most re­cent of­fer was voted down by a big­ger mar­gin than the pre­vi­ous time the same of­fer was put to staff.

“They need to come back to the ta­ble with a fair deal, oth­er­wise mem­bers are res­o­lute in con­tin­u­ing our in­dus­trial ac­tion over the Christ­mas and New Year pe­riod,” he said.

Ear­lier this year the Fair Work com­mis­sion granted the em­ploy­ees the right to take in­dus­trial ac­tion af­ter a break­down in ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Fed­eral Group on a new en­ter­prise agree­ment.

A spokes­woman for Wrest Point said bar­gain­ing with staff would con­tinue, with the aim of an­other staff of­fer be­fore the end of the year.

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