(Montreal) The workers of the casinos of Montreal, Mont-Tremblant, Charlevoix and Gatineau, as well as Online Games, voted Thursday in a general meeting in favor of the outbreak starting this Friday of an indefinite general strike.

The president of the unit of workers and security workers of the Casino de Montreal-CSN, Riccardo Scopelleti, says that there is an impasse to settle the dispute.

In a press release, Loto-Québec reports that despite this strike by some 1,700 of its employees, the Casino du Lac-Leamy, the Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivières and the Salon de jeux de Québec are open according to their usual hours.

The Montreal, Charlevoix and Mont-Tremblant casinos are open according to a modified schedule specific to each establishment, and certain services will be offered on a limited basis. The strike does not affect the croupiers of the casinos of Montreal, Charlevoix and Lac-Leamy.

The lotoquebec.com site also remains accessible. However, the call center is not open during the strike.

The union claims that Loto-Québec bosses are sharing $650,000 in bonuses this year and that it is insulting to deny union members increases that follow the cost of living.

For its part, Loto-Québec finds it difficult to explain the union’s decision to call an indefinite general strike, affirming that all the elements necessary to reach an agreement are accessible.

Loto-Québec ensures that it offers good working conditions and that salaries in casinos are well above the reference market, at more than 20% for the majority of job categories. The Crown corporation adds that the value of the union’s current demands corresponds to more than double what has been granted to all the other employees of the organization in the past year.

These assertions are dismissed out of hand by Stéphanie Gratton, interim president of the Federation of Public Sector Employees-CSN.

Employees unionized with the CSN recently went on strike for five days during the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. This walkout affected catering, security and maintenance services, for example.

Loto-Québec hopes for a resumption of discussions with the union and the conciliator in order to reach a fair settlement that will ensure responsible management of public funds.