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09 April 2011

Kiwi Christchurch Casino Quake Staff Fail Redundancy, by Greg Tingle - 9th April 2011

New Zealand land based casino news is the order of the day. Christchurch Casino workers have failed in their attempt to snatch a larger redundancy payout. Media Man and Gambling911 check out the employment and legal scene in New Zealand...

Financial and emotional aftershocks are still be felt by the casino sector after a series of earthquakes that rocked the Asia Pacific - Japan and New Zealand region.

Christchurch Casino workers are feeling disappointed and even depressed after having failed attempt to get a bigger redundancy payday.

In excess of 500 formally happy and motivated casino employees were offered redundancy at the central Christchurch casino last weekend, which was badly damaged in the February 22 quake and has stayed closed ever since the act of mother nature.

Anyone who wants to stay at the casino will be paid their holiday pay as either a weekly amount or in a "lump sum". Simply put, they will remain as employees of the land based casino on leave without pay until the the gambling den opens again.

The SFWU (Service and Food Workers' Union), which reps for 100 plus casino workers, has a meeting with the casino's managers on Thursday.

SFWU strategic industry boss Len 'Razor' (MM tag) Richards said workers were sombre but firm in their desire about securing a more attractive redundancy package.

The union power that be were also asking for continued pay for employees that choose to stay on until the casino opens again.

However, he advised management was not prepared to increase the amount of redundancy pay for staff, but did agree to request for a government wage subsidy.

Due to a private insurance deal and policy in place, the land based casino has not relied upon the $1.5 million government subsidy available for quake-affected businesses.

Richards stated that the union has contacted earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee to request assistance to help pay workers who remain employed.

SkyCity, half owner of the famous Christchurch Casino, has projected a $130 million plus profit this year. It's not known how much financially the quake cost Christchurch Casino or SkyCity.

Christchurch Casino top sheep er top dog...chief executive Brett 'Ask Him' (MM satire) Anderson said about 70% of employees have indicated they will stay with the company rather than take the offered redundancy.

He said a number of employees are also being offered jobs offshore.

Anderson elaborated "I'm getting phone calls from Australia looking for our people and likewise all over New Zealand, and a few of them have spread their wings. More than a few have gone over to the Gold Coast. It's a lot warmer, it's a lot more stable, you can swim in the sea, the pay rates are better."

Anderson said he still does not know when the casino will reopen.

Employees have a deadline until Monday to decide whether they will take the redundancy package or stay on. Yep, it's the money or the box.

Workers who have not contacted the company by showdown at 5pm on Monday will be deemed to have left their jobs and will be paid out a four-weeks-notice payment, along with their annual leave entitlements. Casino workers, did you get that. D Day is approaching.

A Media Man spokesperson said "In the current global economy anyone with a decent job should be grateful, especially in the casino or gaming sector. Well done to Christchurch Casino management for doing their utmost to assist in their difficult times. Employers will always want to ask for more... its in the nature. Land based casinos generally remain popular around the world so good staff will always be in demand."

Media Man and Gambling911 wish all parties well with their dealings, and hopefully some win - win - wins will still be possible.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian, New Zealand and global casino news, wars, and general land based and online casino news.

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So, whether you prefer land based casinos or online, please take precautions. As always, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good luck.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming.

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