Union Outraged By OLG Layoffs

By Ben Hamill - March 28 2020

Union Outraged By OLG Layoffs

Labour unions are calling on Canadian business owners and administrators to draw on any possible means available to them for the purpose of saving jobs and avoiding lay-offs as far as possible. The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has expressed its disappointment and distaste at how gambling operator Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is handling the situation following various letters of termination of employment having been issued to its members all over the province.

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Union president Warren Thomas appears to be of the opinion that the operator is acting in haste and handling the effects of the coronavirus on the local casino industry in immense haste. Thomas referred to the fact that the virus was in fact paralysing several industries across the board, insinuating that comparatively speaking, the operator wasn’t doing a very good job of handling the crisis.

Ontario Paralysed By Covid-19

But when looking at the bigger picture, it’s quite evident that Ontario is suffering from a particularly high volume of Covid-19 cases. As of March 25, there were 688 confirmed Coronavirus cases, with 13 individuals now dead because of the infection.

That the situation is dynamic and completely unprecedented isn’t helping and especially not in the case of industries having to make urgent and immediate decisions regarding the best possible way forward. The balance between layoffs and ensuring the long-term survival of businesses is a precarious one, to say the least. But that labour unions aren’t at all happy about the thousands of workers now facing termination of employment, is perfectly understandable too. They are, after all, tasked with ensuring that the rights and livelihoods of their members are protected.

Union Says Operator To Blame

Casinos are in the unfortunately position of absolutely relying on people gathering in large numbers in order for their business activities to remain successful. And so, a provincial lockdown isn’t doing the industry any favours.

But labour unions are arguing that the global pandemic and close of casino doors all over the country aren’t the only factors to have pushed the situation to the edge of a national disaster. The privatisation of casinos on provincial as well as national level has had a particularly negative effect on the casino industry at large – or at least to the minds of unions, it has.

Thomas contends that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is interested on preserving its figures to be listed in financial reports at year end instead of looking to find ways to save the thousands of jobs now in the crossfire because of the Coronavirus.