Casino action on the cards
Angry staff to target festive season
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.