Brisbane Casino workers vote to strike

As Solidarity went to press the results of the Brisbane Treasury Casino strike ballot were released. 
The postal ballot, conducted by the Australian Electoral Commission, asked members of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union to vote for or against strikes of four, eight, twelve and twenty-four hours.
A massive 99 per cent of casino union members who returned their ballot papers voted for some kind of strike action, with 94 per cent voting for every action listed on the ballot paper.
The near-unanimous outcome came in spite of the difficulties of the postal balloting that appeared to deny many members the chance to cast their vote. Many members reported to their union delegates that they did not receive a ballot paper despite confirming their membership and voting eligibility with the union before hand.
The difficulties of postal balloting and the tight deadline for returning ballots resulted in only 60 per cent of ballot papers being returned by the required date.  This is just one way that secret postal ballots favour the boss.
The bureaucratic process required to obtain permission from the court creates delays and puts legalistic hurdles in the way of workers taking industrial action. But battle lines have been drawn at the Casino.
From reports in the casino, support for the strike is more than the 60 per cent that got their ballots in.
Recent meetings between top Casino bosses and lower level management have heard Treasury Casino boss, Geoff Hogg, declare that he “doesn’t care” if Casino workers strike. Workers are more than willing to take up his challenge, and there are strong calls for the maximum 24-hour strike to win our demand for a 5.5 per cent wage rise.
The weekend of June 12 will see Treasury Casino workers walk off the job for the first time in the Casino’s history. “The place will be shut down,” one Casino worker said, “No-one’s going to be working. We will have a presence at the front of the Casino.
“We have handed out leaflets to patrons before. There’s been good support. Even if a few bosses try to keep the doors open, no-one’s going to be going in.”
By a Casino worker


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