Article published on 6 June 2012

Brantford Casino Lays Off Several Employees

Slot Attendants Fired from Canadian Casino
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The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has confirmed that seven full time workers have been let go from their positions at Casino Brantford near the Canadian town of Hamilton.

The seven, all slot attendants, had their employment contracts terminated, effective immediately, in a bid by the OLG to make the casino more cost efficient.

The OLG said that the workers, all members of Canadian Auto Workers, were long term employees, but the casino had no choice as it was already "overstaffed".

"It's always hard to lay off workers, but we were evaluating staffing levels to maximize efficiencies," said the spokesman for OLG, Tony Bitonti. "We were in a slight overstaffing position in the slot attendant department".

The seven were employed to walk the casino floor at Casino Brantford and pay out winnings to lucky patrons.

The president of Local 504, Canadian Auto Workers, Dave Reston was present when Casino Brantford laid off employees last week.

"It's definitely disappointing to watch full time jobs disappearing but we are going to do what we can to make sure nobody hits the street," he said. "There are bumping provisions and there are other opportunities inside the casino. There are some vacancies where they may be moved."

Casino Brantford Recently Upgraded

Some were surprised that the seven workers were let go, considering that the gaming facility has been so profitable in recent months. In fact, Casino Brantford recently underwent a facelift and was growing in popularity in the region.

"Casino Brantford is doing very well since the re-imaging and a small expansion," noted OLG spokesman Bitonti. "Now that is more settled, the slight overstaffing was identified in one department."

Casino Brantford employs over 900 people - part time and full time and most of them belong to a trade union.

Plans to Privatize Casino Brantford

As part of an overall strategy to improve revenue generating gambling establishments across the province, the OLG is going ahead with plans to privatize operations at Casino Brantford.

The corporation said that it was sure it would be able to locate operators from the private sector for Casino Brantford, although if it was not successful, the OLG would continue to run it as it was doing now.

"That would be the worse worst-case scenario," said Bitonti.

Bids for private sector operators to run OLG's casinos across the province will be sought in the fall.

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