Elbow River Casino: Slow Start Becomes A Slower Grind

Your Union Negotiating Committee met with the Company March 4 – 6, 2024, at our Calgary Office.  

The Company requested and took last Wednesday February 28, 2024, to prepare for negotiations this week.   

“We showed up prepared and ready to negotiate first thing Monday morning,” said Chris O’Halloran, Executive Director for UFCW Local 401. “Unfortunately, the Company did not do the same, after asking for and receiving a full day to prepare last week.”  

At the end of the day on Monday, your Union Negotiating Committee was waiting for 15 separate responses form the Company.  

At the end of the day Tuesday your Union Negotiating Committee was still waiting for 15 separate responses from the Company. 

At the end of the day on Wednesday your Union Negotiating Committee was waiting for 13 separate responses from the company.  

See the proposal tracker here. 

We did achieve agreement on 8 items over the last 3 days.  

It is unfortunate the Company has chosen to take positions that the Union believes are inappropriate and very well could be illegal. We asked the Company to stop and change their mind, but they have refused.  

This has left your union with no choice but to file an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint against the Company Committee for bargaining in bad faith: Lori Graham (HR), Janell Truong (gaming), Lynn Madge (slots), and Thai Banh (gaming).  

The Company has taken the position at the bargaining table that your union cannot file grievances against a violation of someone’s Human Rights. When asked if your union could file a grievance if the employer fired someone for getting pregnant, the Company said that should be sent to the Human Rights Commission.  

“We are trying to move through negotiations quickly and get the membership the wage increases and improvements they deserve, but we need the Company to come to the negotiating table prepared to bargain,” continued O’Halloran.  

“We hope that everyone understands and agrees that it is in the best interest of all sides – Employer, Employees and Union – that this negotiation is for everyone,” said Negotiating Committee member Simo. “It is important that employees have visual representation of their rights.”  

The Employer has said no to this simple proposal, after agreeing that employees have these rights.  

7.04 Employee Rights

The Employer recognizes the vital role that employees play in the success of the business. Without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the Employer recognizes the following employee rights:

a) The right to translation if necessary. 
b) The right to a safe workplace.
        c) The right to be free from discrimination, intimidation, retaliation, and harassment. 
        d) The right to be compensated for work performed. 
        e) The right to be informed of all workplace rights, obligations, policies, and rules. 
        f) The right to necessary training for the work performed. 
        g) The right to participate in lawful Union activity.

We will be back at the bargaining table April 8 -10, 2024. If you are speaking with Management, please tell your employer to stop playing games and come to the negotiating table prepared to bargain.

Please take a quick survey on the proposed Union Dues increase consultation.

If you have any questions, contact Chris O’Halloran at cohalloran@ufcw401.ab.ca or 587-999-6448 or Jeff Ible at jible@ufcw401.ab.ca or 587-583-1501.

In solidarity,
Your Union
UFCW Local 401