The Rank Group's Grosvenor Casinos Unite union members are the latest UK workers to have voted in favor of industrial action, planning a 72-hour strike from September 9 as Britain's economic crisis takes its toll on pockets.
The Casino workers want an improved pay deal to counter record inflation, the union representing them said. A total of 150 workers from across Grosvenor Casinos’ seven London venues voted to reject retention bonus payments of GBP 600 and GBP 800 as “totally inadequate,” according to a Unite statement.
A spokesperson for Rank said the company was “disappointed” by the move: “Against the backdrop of an extremely challenging trading environment for Rank, and for the sector as a whole, we have made a strong offer which we believe fairly addresses the current cost of living crisis,” they said.
“Grosvenor Casinos is another big money company that is raking it in but refusing to pay its workers a wage that they can live on. It’s just not acceptable and this huge vote for action underscores the sense of anger across this workforce.” @UniteSharonhttps://t.co/zNyzB5ET5s— Unite the union: join a union (@unitetheunion) September 5, 2022
“Grosvenor Casinos is another big money company that is raking it in but refusing to pay its workers a wage that they can live on,” Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said. “It’s just not acceptable and this huge vote for action underscores the sense of anger across this workforce.”
The casino workers join a raft of the UK’s workforce voting in favor of industrial action in pay disputes, Bloomberg reports. In recent weeks postal staff, dockers, bus drivers, BT workers and airport and railway employees have demanded pay and job benefits to counter double-digit inflation, lagging income growth and soaring energy bills.
Across the globe, inflation rates are soaring, and casino employees in a number of destinations have recently held strikes in order to fight for better wages, such as in Atlantic City. In the US, the year-to-date inflation rate through July was 8.5%, notably up from the 1.6% average of previous years. In the UK, Inflation, as of July, is now over 10%.
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Last month Rank Group announced it has hit its underlying year-end profit guidance of GBP 40 million ($48.1 million), overcoming continued “softer trading conditions” on its retail venues, and bouncing from a GBP 107.3 million ($128.9 million) loss in 2020-2021. The group’s preliminary results for the 12 months ending June 30 detailed ongoing challenges for its Grosvenor properties, particularly across London.
Rank’s 2021/22 NGR totaled GBP 644 million ($775.9 million), doubling the 2020/21 results for the comparable period. Nonetheless, the group’s headline performance remains 10% behind pre-pandemic levels, which accounted for GBP 715 million ($861.5 million). The group cited in its report a “gradual recovery” from pandemic conditions.