TORONTO – Unifor, one of the largest union companies in Canada, says it’s time for provinces to safely re-open casinos. Unifor is the union of choice for approximately 9,000 Canadian gaming workers at casinos, lotteries, and racetracks.
Casinos throughout Canada have been closed since mid-March, when the global pandemic, Covid-19, first started spreading rapidly around the world. Unifor is calling for provinces to re-open casinos under similar health protocols issued for other economic industries in their re-openings.
Unifor National President, Jerry Dias, says casino workers have been among the hardest hit and is adamant for their return to work. “There’s just no sound science that justifies re-opening Walmarts, gyms and restaurants while, at the same time, keeping the casinos closed. There’s no logic behind the decision, and it’s placing a perfectly legal sector in jeopardy,” Dias said.
For Dias, the toll of being out of work for months on end has been directly felt by the families of casino employees. “Enough is enough — it’s time to safely re-open casinos so gaming workers can get back to work and support their families,” he said.
Currently, individual provinces each have their own guidelines for safe re-openings of indoor spaces. Great Canadian Gaming venues in Ontario and New Brunswick are set to re-open on September 28, while the majority of casinos in Alberta have already re-opened.