Pay Strike At Casino Group On the Cards - Sunday 12th of June 2005

The first strike by casino workers in Britain has been threatened in a row over wages and working conditions.

The GMB union announced a consultative ballot among its 1,000 members at Stanley's Casinos in protest at a 3.2% pay offer.

The union said it was confident of a vote in favour - which could spark industrial action by croupiers, chefs, receptionists, cleaners and security staff at the firm's 41 casinos in England and Scotland.

The union is seeking a pay rise of 4.5% but also wants improvements in working conditions.

It claimed that some staff, such as waitresses, are on annual salaries of £10,400, just above the national minimum wage.

Stanley's is the biggest casino operator in the country and owns the biggest casino at Star City in Birmingham.

Its executive chairman is Lord Steinberg.

Union officials have complained that staff who were harassed or bullied by customers received little or no support from their managers.

The GMB claimed that in one casino workers had to huddle around a tumble dryer in a staff room to keep warm.

GMB National Officer Mick Ainsley said a strike would "seriously damage" the company.

He claimed: "GMB members in casinos have been undervalued by their employer for far too long".

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