PSAC Calls on SaskGaming to Reverse its Decision to Lay Off the Majority of Staff During the COVID-19 Pandemic

For Immediate Release – Friday, March 27th, 2020

REGINA – The Public Service Alliance of Canada – Prairies is shocked and disappointed to hear that SaskGaming will be issuing temporary layoff notices to 549 unionized staff and 42 non-union employees effective April 3rd. The union was made aware of this information on an afternoon phone meeting yesterday, March 26th. Some essential positions will be maintained but all other staff will be receiving notices today, March 27th.

“We were most disturbed to hear that the decision to lay off staff amidst the COVID-19 pandemic as made by Casino management and not a directive issued by the Crown Investment Corp (CIC) or the provincial government cabinet,” declared Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice- President for the Prairie region. “At a time when the Prime Minister is providing wage subsidies of 75% to small businesses and urging all employers to keep their employees on payroll to reduce the burden on the EI system, a Crown Corporation should be leading by example. I urge the Minister to ensure these workers are treated the same as other Crowns and that the layoff notices be rescinded.”

Ms. Hladun has already spoken with staff in Minister Tell’s Office, the Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), and has left messages for Minister Morgan, Minister of Labour, and has spoken to Warren McCall, Opposition Critic for SLGA. PSAC will continue to follow up to demand the provincial government intervene and overturn the decision of Casino management. There is no further information from the Government of Saskatchewan at this time.

“At the end of December 2019, SaskGaming’s own financial statements declared income as $1.4M above budget,” stated Michelle Lang, President of PSAC Local 40005. “This is not business as usual. Companies all across Canada are standing behind their workers and continuing to provide pay during this unprecedented situation. We are asking for SaskGaming to be here for their workers as we were there for the Corporation before the pandemic.”


For more information:
Alanna Makinson, Regional Communications Officer