Rideau Carleton Raceway slots on reduced hours after workers locked out
Slots now open from noon to midnight instead of 24/7
The slot machines at the Rideau Carleton Raceway are running on a reduced schedule after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation locked out 124 workers on Tuesday night.
The slot machines at the raceway are normally open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They're now open between noon and midnight and will remain so until further notice with managers running the game room.
Management locked the doors to the slots at 10 p.m. Tuesday because of stalled contract negotiations between the OLG and a group of Public Service Alliance of Canada workers.
The employees work on the gaming floor as slot attendants, technicians and cashiers.
Their old agreement expired nearly two years ago.
"These workers have been without a raise since 2008-2009," said Larry Rousseau, the Public Service Alliance of Canada's Ottawa region vice-president.
"We're going on eight years without an increase, and the offer that's on the table is a 1.75 [per cent] increase but only for 2016. So we're talking about conditions that are clearly unacceptable."
The workers also want to make sure their current pension plan will be protected if OLG ever sells the slots to a private owner, Rousseau said.
OLG declined to comment but spokesperson Tony Bitonti issued a statement saying the corporation "had no intention of locking out employees before or during the Christmas season," and that the contract it's offering is consistent with collective agreements at other Ontario casinos.