|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 10,
1999 "Anti-GALA" highlights casino issues
TORONTO The Ontario Public Service Employees Union
held an "anti-Gala" at the Brantford Labour Centre Wednesday, to point out the
importance of work done by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
About 200 OPSEU members have been on strike against the
commission since Nov. 1 in search of a first contract. The strike is a significant factor
in delaying the opening of the Brantford Charity Casino.
The opening Gala, originally scheduled for today, has been
postponed until Nov. 19.
Sipping ginger ale from a wineglass and nibbling a tuna
sandwich, OPSEU President Leah Casselman said, "If we are still on strike when the
Gala is held, we will be a very conspicuous presence at the event."
Staff of the AGCO enforce the provinces laws on
licenced premises (overservice, service to minors, watering drinks, illegal liquor, etc.)
and on gambling (ensuring machines arent tampered with, employees are registered and
payoffs are fair).
Casselman said, "We have a great deal of sympathy with
the charities that will depend on the casino for revenues. Its a sad commentary that
government cuts to important services mean a lot of agencies must look to gambling
revenues to continue their work."
Casselman presented Brantford Food Bank chair Doug
Aitchison with a cheque for $434. "This represents approximately 15 seconds worth of
the provinces daily $2.5 million take from casinos. We recognize it is a drop in the
bucket, but it shows our concern for people who are suffering in todays
economy," she said.
John Worton, president of Local 565 which represents the
striking AGCO staff, talked of the issues separating the two sides. "We want our
benefits defined in the collective agreement. We want a way to grieve if we are not paid
appropriately. We dont want the employer to be able to lay people off for up to 90
days with no reference to seniority."
Worton said the union was prepared to return to the
bargaining table at any time. "When we left, we had just handed the employer a
response to their latest position. We are looking for a reaction from them."
- 30 -
For further information:
Katie FitzRandolph (OPSEU Communications)
(416) 448-7440 or cell (416) 561-5651