Crown Melbourne Casino Staff Ponder Strike Action Prior to Melbourne Cup Event


Posted on: November 2, 2023, 07:43h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2023, 10:43h.

Crown Melbourne employees are considering a potential strike as negotiations with Crown Resorts over pay and other factors reach a crucial stage. This development follows recent strikes by casino workers in Las Vegas and Detroit. As a sports betting writer, it is important to note that these labor disputes can impact the operations and outcomes of sporting events.

The Crown Melbourne casino resort at night.
The Crown Melbourne casino resort at night. Employees are threatening to strike this weekend ahead of the annual Melbourne Cup. (Image: Crown Melbourne)

The dispute revolves around demands for better pay and working conditions. The employees are seeking a yearly wage increase, improved weekend and public holiday pay, and more balanced rosters to promote a healthier work-life balance and progression based on quality of service.

This news comes shortly after Crown Resorts released its latest financial report, revealing a 44% increase in revenue compared to the previous year.

Crown Melbourne contributed significantly to this revenue growth with a 49% increase. However, the company’s recent fines for violations of regulations, such as money laundering, resulted in a net loss of AU$199 million (US$125 million).

Strike Threatens Melbourne Cup

The United Workers Union has claimed that a recent ballot vote authorizes all union members, potentially involving 3,600 workers, to participate in the strike. However, Crown Resorts has disputed these numbers, questioning the eligibility of such a large workforce to go on strike.

Initially, the company asserted that only 1,700 workers would be allowed to take protected action. Crown Resorts later revised this stance, acknowledging that around 3,100 workers would indeed be eligible.

As tensions escalate, the potential strike has been strategically timed to coincide with the upcoming Melbourne Cup this weekend. The employees hope that this strategic move will exert pressure on Crown Resorts to address their concerns and reach a satisfactory agreement before the prestigious event takes place.

Crown Melbourne plays a vital role as the hospitality services partner for the annual horse racing festivities. They secured this partnership through a three-year deal last year. A strike during the Melbourne Cup could disrupt the overall visitor experience and impact the outcomes of the races.

Time-Sensitive Protest

The workers’ protests could commence as early as this Saturday, coinciding with Victoria Derby Day. The strike is planned to extend until Monday, casting a shadow over the highly anticipated Melbourne Cup scheduled for the following day.

According to the proposed strike schedule, operations at Crown Melbourne would come to a standstill during specific hours. The proposed strike times include a halt of activities from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a pause from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The protest would then resume from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday. This three-day work stoppage would significantly impact the operations of Crown Melbourne during key periods over the weekend.

According to market research company IER, last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival had a gross economic impact of AU$3.6 billion (US$2.21 billion) on Victoria. The event attracted nearly 61,000 visitors from 28 countries, primarily New Zealand and the UK. It is therefore crucial for Crown Melbourne and the organizers of the Melbourne Cup to find a resolution and prevent any disruption to this lucrative sporting event.

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