Grosvenor Casino staff to strike over pay

Employees at Grosvenor Casinos are set to hold a 24-hour strike tomorrow in a dispute over pay.

The strike follows a similar walkout on 31 December 2006 as part of an ongoing pay dispute, in which staff such as croupiers, inspectors, cashiers, valets, receptionists and restaurant workers are unhappy about a 3.5% pay increase introduced at the beginning of January.

The Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) claims that this is insufficient due to the the recent inflation rise and increased cost of living in London. Rose Keeping, T&G regional industrial organiser, said: “Our members need an improvement on the 3.5% the company imposed on them at the beginning of January especially in light of inflation now at 4.4% and many feeling that the ‘real world’ inflation rate is higher than that.

“Our members are still struggling to cope with significant increases in electric and gas bills together with council tax and increases on mortgages and borrowing in one of Europe’s most expensive cities.”

However, Rank Group Gaming Division, which owns Grosvenor Casinos, said that it has made it clear to the T&G that a 3.5% pay rise across the board is its final decision, and claimed that this is above the government’s CPI figure on 2.7% as it stood in December 2006; is in line or ahead of pay rises offered by its main competitors; and reflects current trading positions, taking into account new competitors and the planned smoking ban in England and Wales.

The T&G estimated that around 300 gaming and casino staff will be involved in the strike, but Lesly Hughes, head of PR, Rank Group Gaming Division, said: “We are very disappointed that the [T&G] has called for a second day of strike action, particularly given the poor support they received for the first strike when only 73 employees, compared to the 300 anticipated by the union, chose to take industrial action.”

The four casinos to be affected are the Victoria Casino in Edgware Road, Connoisseur at Kensington Gardens, London Park Tower in Knightsbridge and Gloucester Sporting Club at Harrington Gardens.