For the first time in 13 years Crown Melbourne staff will march on the Southern Hemisphere’s largest casino after Crown refused to recognise the enormous sacrifices workers make so Crown can remain open across the weekend.
Workers will meet at 6pm tonight outside Crown and then march along the riverbank promenade to demand recognition for their contribution to Crown Melbourne’ $662mil profit from last year.
Today, United Voice, Casino Union, is releasing a survey of 346 Crown Melbourne staff which reveals the impact of working weekends:
• 70 percent of staff surveyed had to miss a wedding of a family member or friend.
• 75% had to miss Christmas with family and friends on multiple occasions
• 80% had to miss birthdays of family and friends
“If you work at Crown Melbourne, chances are you’ll be working at least 40 weekends a year,” said Jess Walsh, Victorian Secretary of United Voice, the Casino Union.
“The impact this has can be heart-breaking. Many feel they’ve lost touch with important people in their lives, because they weren’t there for weddings, birthdays and funerals.”
“The social media phenomenon of #fomo (fear of missing out) is something that’s hugely magnified at Crown. When they work on weekends, their Facebook feed is full of posts about important events that they couldn’t get to.”
“Crown staff are proud of the world-class service they provide to patrons. They know that’s a big reason why Crown Melbourne made $662mil last financial year.”
“Today staff are marching to say to Crown we want you to recognise our sacrifice and reward our work.”
Matt Poynter, a union delegate and Table Games Dealer in the Premium Area of Crown Melbourne, said: “My partner works a normal working week. There are so many important events that I miss out on with her and other family and friends. That puts a lot of pressure on these relationships. People understand I can’t work, but that doesn’t allay their disappointment. I’ve lost touch with quite a few friends because of this job.”
United Voice members want a late-night weekend allowance, which would mean they would earn an extra $20 each night for working Friday and Saturday night and graveyard shifts; about the price Crown charges for a cocktail at one of its many bars.
Numerous studies have shown that shift workers are more likely to suffer from diabetes, lung cancer, heart attack, anxiety and depression. Shift workers also have a 2-4 times greater risk of getting into a car accident on their way to and from work.
So far, Crown has refused to even discuss the weekend night-shift allowance proposal.
United Voice Casino Union members are fighting for a new union agreement which will cover over 4500 hospitality and gaming staff at Crown Melbourne, working in areas such as gaming, food and beverage, security and hotel services.
Discussions are continuing and United Voice is hopeful a resolution can be reached soon.
A Level 3 Table Games Dealer earns $58k for working a rotating shift, which usually includes working 40 weekends a year, while a Level 2 Food & Beverage Attendant earns $48k a year.
A recent poll found that 81% of Australians surveyed support a higher hourly rate of pay for those who work weekends and night shifts. The Essential poll was conducted in July 2015.