Elbow River Casino: Slow Start to Bargaining

We were scheduled to meet with the Company on February 26, 27 and 28, 2024. We met with the Employer on Monday and presented them with our proposals for changes to the contract.

You can find a copy of those proposals here.

On Tuesday, the Company presented us with their proposed changes to the contract.

You can find the Company’s proposed changes here.

We have a total of 29 proposals. Union Proposal 1 outlines that we are seeking a two-year agreement, while the Company is asking for a 5-year contract. In terms of wage increases, you can see at UP 25 that we are asking for a 10% increase each year.  

We have also proposed improvements to the number of weeks of vacation (Union Proposal 19), benefit coverage (Union Proposals 20 and 21), and a change to the language at Article 34.01 (Union Proposal 23) to ensure that work is assigned to Dealers according to seniority, provided they have been trained, so that the Employer cannot pay them a lower rate within the Classification (such as Dealer 2 rather than Dealer 3).

The Company has asked for a short break to review the Union Proposals, and we have agreed to that. Your Union Bargaining Committee was prepared to work on and provide counters to the Company’s proposals before the Company requested a break.

We have agreed to come back to negotiations on Monday, March 4, 2024. On that date, we will have responses to Company Proposals 7, 8, 9, and 12 ready. The Company has agreed to respond to Union Proposals 2, 3, 4, and 5. 

“We came into these six days of negotiations prepared to move quickly and hoped to get a deal within these dates,” said Chris O’Halloran, Executive Director for UFCW Local 401. “We know that negotiations last time took too long, and we will be pushing the Company to move quickly this time around.”   

It is important to remember that any member is welcome to observe negotiations next week. If you would like to come to see what is happening, please contact your Union Labour Relations Officer, Jeff Ible, at jible@ufcw401.ab.ca or 587-583-1501.

Check out this video to learn more about the Open Bargaining process.

Your Union will be holding a consultation session following next week’s negotiations to provide Elbow River Casino members with an update. We will also start a conversation about what a fair and reasonable dues increase could be.

Strong unions win good victories for their members that improve your life both at work and at home. An important part of having a strong union is investing in the resources we all need to push employers to give you the fair deal you deserve. The resources of our Union come primarily from membership dues.  

A key value of our Union is fairness. UFCW Local 401 fights as hard for members in smaller workplaces like the Elbow River Casino as we do for large groups of members like those at Superstore, Gateway Casino, or Hilton Hotel. In turn, we ask union members across the province to invest in our Union’s success with their dues at the same rates as other Union Members.

As an open, transparent, and democratic union, we are proposing consultation sessions to discuss what the membership feels is a fair dues increase. These proposed increases will ensure that Elbow River Casino union members are investing in a strong union that can fight for fair offers, including meaningful wage increases, benefits improvements, and workplace rights, as all other UFCW Local 401 union members.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to 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