Preserving Good Jobs in the Gaming Sector

April 17, 2012, 4:25 PM EST

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Delegates spoke out against a recent Ontario Lottery Gaming Corporation report that calls for greater privatization which will impact thousands of workers and their families as pressure increases to reduce full time work.

"They are saying that the government is no longer going to play that role and that the private sector will have a larger role," said Lewenza. "This means that we are going to have more social ills and more precarious work. Working full-time in the gaming industry and diversifying the economy is going to be challenged as the race to the bottom continues."

Lewenza said the gaming recommendations released March 12 were based on talks with 50 stakeholder groups, but none represented the interests of OLG workers in casinos, racetracks, teletheatres and other gaming sites. 

Days after the report's release the OLG abruptly announced the closure of three slot operations in Windsor, Fort Erie and Sarnia, which threw 500 people out of work. Lewenza cautioned that further plans to eliminate slot subsidies to racetracks and to encourage privatization will wreak havoc on the good jobs this sector was meant to create.

Council delegates also called on the Ontario Racing Association to demand the provincial Liberal government, through the Ontario Lottery Corporation, preserve the revenue sharing agreement with the industry, preserving the 60,000 jobs associated with it.

"We are going to fight hard to say to the gaming industry that you do not have the right to eliminate 60,000 jobs in Canada, mostly in rural communities."

The CAW is Canada's largest gaming workers' union with more than 7000 members at Caesars Windsor Casino, Brantford Casino, Slots at Sudbury Downs, Great Blue Heron Casino, Edgewater Casino, the Woodbine Racetrack and other locations.

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