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Severance deal reached with former Sydney casino workers

Great Canadian Entertainment and 11 workers at its Sydney Casino site have reached a deal. Exact details of the settlement fall under a non-disclosure agreement between the parties but it does include an enhanced severance for the 11 workers who will not be returning to the location. nThe deal comes after the 11 were sent home from their jobs in 2020 as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The global pandemic played havoc with working conditions across the globe but as measures were eased, the Sydney workers were not called back to their jobs and instead watched as others with less seniority and some part-timers being recalled. For more than two years, the workers attempted to get information on their status as they received no lay-off notice. Their plight caught the attention of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Dave Shaw, a retired union organizer with the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

With the assistance of Shaw and UFCW, the workers held information pickets in Sydney to generate public support for their position. The UFCW also provided legal services to the group. “The workers are pretty happy with the settlement after being in a state of limbo for so long,” said Shaw, declining further comment on the details of the agreement. The workers had claimed that the company, in December 2021, discontinued their medical benefits which created further hardships for them and their families. Most of the 11 workers were employed at the facility since it opened in 1995 as table dealers and slot machine attendants. They said they received full benefits including five weeks of vacation while earning $13.75 per hour. The company said last November, in response to the information pickets, that it regretted that some workers were not recalled back to the Sydney casino and that it was attempting to negotiate a deal with the workers that would include an enhanced severance.


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