Friday, January 5, 2007

French casino industry in turmoil over pay dispute

Casino owners and employees in France face a stand-off after unions called the country's croupiers out on strike over an unresolved dispute regarding pay and new regulations which allow casinos to add electronic versions of poker and roulette games.

France's 17,000 casino workers have stated that more profits should be coming to them. After wage negotiations broke down, they went on strike on New Year's Eve - one of the busiest nights of the year. Casino operators are offering a 2% pay rise, but the unions want to see this figure increased to 5%.

The unions are also concerned about proposed changes in French law that will authorise electronic versions of games such as blackjack, and which they fear could result in the loss of up to 3,500 jobs.