Official strikes to hit Crown

STRIKES are likely to hit Crown casino from tomorrow, with about 100 maintenance staff threatening to stop work in premium gaming areas, and much of the casino's gaming floor, after talks between the venue and unions broke down.

STRIKES are likely to hit Crown casino from tomorrow, with about 100 maintenance staff threatening to stop work in premium gaming areas, and much of the casino's gaming floor, after talks between the venue and unions broke down.

Two unions the Electrical Trades Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union applied last month to take protected industrial action against Crown as three-month-long negotiations over a new pay deal dragged on.

A range of the two unions' proposed strike actions have now been approved by the national industrial umpire, Fair Work Australia, and staff will begin their campaign tomorrow.

Staff who will take part in the industrial action include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, upholsterers and other maintenance employees.

Among 25 proposed work bans that can now be legally carried out are:

Stopping all work in Crown's premium gaming areas, specifically the Mahogany Room, Maple Room, and Teak Pit or Monte Carlo Room.

Refusing to move any gaming tables within the casino.

Refusing to repair any equipment on the gaming floor.

Stopping repairs on toilet doors, all furniture and all airconditioning in hotel rooms.

Abandoning any planned or emergency repairs to the casino's stoves, fridges, grills or other kitchen appliances.

A series of four-hour, 24-hour or indefinite stoppages.

The only work that would be done in kitchens under the threatened strike action would be making electrical appliances safe, and tagging them out of service.

ETU organiser Howard Worthing said the casino's high-roller areas would be the first disrupted "We have been negotiating with Crown for three months and last Friday negotiations broke down," he said.

Mr Worthing said the casino's refusal to negotiate further had left union members no option.

A spokesman for Crown, Gary O'Neill, said the casino was disappointed negotiations had broken down.

"There is obviously an element of ambit claim in this by the union there is still a significant gap between what [they] want and what Crown is offering." He said Crown's maintenance staff were paid an average of around $90,000 a year, including superannuation. "Our property services people are paid at similar rates to similar venues around the country."

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