As it begins the gradual reopening of its establishments, Loto-Québec announced Tuesday the temporary layoff of 2,250 workers in casinos and gaming halls.
Faced with a drop in revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic, Loto-Québec indicated that several other measures will be put into effect to reduce costs.
It’s imposing a salary freeze on managers for the 2020-21 fiscal year without bonuses. Loto-Québec is also letting go of contract workers.
In addition, there will be a temporary reduction in the workweek, the provincial corporation said in a statement.
It says the measures adopted aim to align the workforce with the level of activities that can resume.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents about 50 per cent of union members in these establishments, said the layoffs will take effect on July 21. Letters to this effect are expected to be sent to affected workers on July 2.
CUPE, which is affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), says it will ensure that the clauses in collective agreements are respected.
“Whether to enforce the seniority of employees or for any other consideration provided for in our collective agreements, we will be careful and vigilant to ensure that the rights of our members are not violated during this difficult process. Above all, we will be there to ensure the return to work of people temporarily laid off, because casinos will be reborn after this difficult period,” said CUPE Quebec director Marc Ranger.
As for the reopenings, that of the Hilton Lac-Leamy will take place on July 13, then those of the Casino de Charlevoix, the Casino de Mont-Tremblant, the Salon de jeux de Québec and the Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivières on July 16. The Casino du Lac-Leamy will reopen on July 23 and of the Casino de Montréal on Aug. 3.
The VLT (video lottery terminal) network and Kinzo will start again on July 7 and network bingo on July 3.
In addition, masks will be “compulsory for all customers,” Loto-Québec says in its press release. Playground employees will also have to wear them.
Traffic will also be limited to 250 people in general. The larger Lac-Leamy casino will be considered as four sectors of 250 people, or 1,000 people. The Casino de Montréal will be considered as six sectors of 250 people, or 1,500.
The usual sanitary standards will also be applied: disinfection and display of reminders concerning physical distance. In addition, the opening hours will be changed.