Australian and international pundits... you want casino and gambling action and news? Here it is maties. The world famous Australian Casino Wars continue to generate heat and excitement around the world. It's not only the main two players in Australia - James Packer owned Crown Casino and Tabcorp owned Star City Casino, but now almost certain strike action from the staff is on the cards. Rampant rumours suggest that another "strike" or two is also possible, but that may be jumping the gun! Media Man and Gambling911 don the bullet proof vests and grab the baton and plastic handcuffs. It's lights, cameras, action, strike!...
Crown Casino Workers To Strike; Rumours - Star City Casino And Others May Follow Trend...
Australian land based casinos can still operate in times of strike action, which is a very good thing for the powers that be at Crown Casino (and potentially a number of others).
Crown Limited is one of the biggest employers of Melbourne - ites - (for the moment). Let us also not forget that Crown are also a major supporter of our friend (and maybe yours) Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest.
Multiple thousands of workers at Crown Casino will likely be on strike during this year's Spring Racing Carnival as part of a significant industrial campaign for better pay, and perhaps conditions.
Crown staff will vote on the possible strike action in the coming weeks after Fair Work Australia approved the ballot. Insiders are hoping they don't get the equivalent of a hung Parliament, which was the state of Australia's senate for roughly 2 weeks, before Julia Gillard was reappointed the Prime Ministership.
Staffers are seeking out a 13.5% pay rise over three years and have flat out rejected Crown's 11% offer.
The LHMU (Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union) state secretary Jess 'Witty' (Media Man tag) Walsh said Crown Limited had posted a sizable $300 million profit and could afford the increase.
She advised any strike action would involve dealers, food and beverage staff and gaming staff.
"Members should be voting over the next few weeks, so the industrial action would occur in early October - it probably lines up with the spring racing carnival. Experienced, properly-trained staff are vital to ensuring gaming and alcohol are served responsibly at Crown. But Crown has sent a clear message it does not value the loyalty, dedication and experience of its staff. It only cares about one thing: making more money, whatever the cost to the community or its own staff. It has told staff it cannot afford a fair wage increase and needs to make changes that could cost experienced dealers almost $5000 a year, despite its $300 million profit."
Crown chief executive David 'Cashed Up' (Media Man tag) Courtney said talk of strike action was not unusual towards the end of long negotiations (the previous enterprise agreement ceased on 30th June).
He tipped Crown's 11% offer was equal to that accepted by staff at Burswood Casino in Perth, Western Australia, and more than the 9% accepted by staff at Sydney's Star City Casino.
He said Crown was hopeful of avoiding strike action.
If there was strike action the casino would continue to operate, Courtney said.
Tabcorp is tight lipped on the speculation and tip offs that another strike may hit their Star City Casino in 'Sin City' Sydney. Reef Casino and Lasseters in Australia's top end region would not disclose or confirm if they were about to suffer "strike action" (one kind or another), and no, we are not talking about aggressive boat people or the Australian or foreign Navy vessels, aircraft carriers or the like.
Insider rumors tip that they may be another kind of "strike", but that may be just heat coming from the readership of the likes of the very loud Media Man, Casino News Media and Gambling911.
A Media Man spokesperson said "Regarding the talk of another kind of strike in the Australian casino sector, don't look too deep into it. Our journalist and correspondent friends are known for talking things up, mind you, stranger things have happened in the past like the casino shaft man, Ferrari thief man, and even a couple of bomb threats a few years back, so I guess anything is possible. We think the hard working staff might just get the pay increase, and hopefully it won't negatively effect the share price. Mr Packer's operation is still pretty much head and shoulders about the competition so it should still be fair winds, and let us not forget the Packer and Warnie X factor, so Crown will keep powering for the foreseeable future in any event."
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Readers... er, punters, what's your view on the casino wars and potential strike action? Is other "strike action" on the cards? Keep checking daily for updates. If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.
Crown Limited Share Price: $8.320
*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.
*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited
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