Toronto - Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Local 533, working at Casino Woodbine, received notice the Casino would be shutting down on March 15th, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
PSAC proposed to the Employer (Great Canadian Gaming), that they grant special paid leave to workers to assist them. Furthermore, PSAC proposed that the Employer provide a special top up to Employment Insurance benefits should the situation require the facility to remain closed, which was also denied.
“This situation is unprecedented, and workers need a safety net during this pandemic,” says Sharon DeSousa, PSAC Ontario Regional Executive Vice-President. “We are demanding that Great Canadian Gaming and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation provide income and benefit protections to all their workers during this state of emergency.”
There are many examples across the country where employers are continuing to pay their employees for a transition period, including offering paid leave and top ups to Employment Insurance; to help workers during these unstable times.
For example, in Quebec, casino workers will receive their full wages despite closures as well as other private sector employers such as Canadian Tire, Ikea Canada, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, Home Depot, Sports Check, Atmosphere, Best Buy and more. As of March 19, Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw will cover employee salaries for the next two weeks with the provision that the employer will re-evaluate the situation for workers after this time.
“There are so many examples of employers doing the right thing and taking care of their workers,” states Theo Lagakos, DCL 533 Local President. “We are the largest gaming facility in Ontario and right now over 1,100 workers are being abandoned by their employer and the province.”
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