Crown Melbourne Hit by Industrial Strike

Work Bans Hit Crown Casino in Melbourne

Negotiations between Crown and union leaders break down.

In one of the busiest periods of the year, Crown's Melbourne property has been hit by an industrial strike which disrupted operations in recent days.

Maintenance workers, including carpenters, electricians and upholsters have refused to perform their duties during spring racing carnival and the grand final week of the AFL, following work bans by their unions.

The strike kicked off last Monday during the Brownlow Medal ceremony at Crown Melbourne. Dozens of workers refused to reply to maintenance calls in the casino resort, resulting in disruptions across the 1000-room hotel, its gaming floors, bars and restaurants.

Over the grand final weekend, workers again refused to fix gaming room machinery and TVs. Also affected were the VIP gambling rooms at the casino, where workers refused to perform any duties at all.

There were plans to perform a 48 hour walk-off during the following weekend, where 100 plumbers, electricians and others would simply not turn up to work.

Unions Call for Work Bans

Staff unions and Crown Group have been involved in negotiations to try and come to a new workplace agreement. Unions complain about staff conditions and work rosters, and feel that Crown has not been forthcoming with just responses to these complaints.

Last Monday, 13 work bans took effect, preventing members of the Electrical Trade Union to answer call-outs for broken appliances in the hotel rooms.

The unions planned the strikes to coincide with one of the busiest periods in the resort, including major spring racing carnival events. 

"The guys have voted on a series of work bans and we are going to ramp this up through any sort of major event that Crown hosts," said Electrical Trade Union organizer, Steve Diston. "We are digging in for a long haul to achieve our aims."

Crown commented that it would continue to work with the unions "for a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties."

About Crown Melbourne

Crown Melbourne opened its doors in 1997 and is home to one of Australia's biggest casinos, as well as three hotels, function rooms, world class retail facilities, award-winning restaurants and more.

Crown Melbourne casino is home to over 2,500 gaming machines and 540 table games. Its VIP gambling program caters to exclusive clientele while tourists and local alike flock to its main gaming floor.

In 2014, the group was awarded the 2014 Casino/Integrated Resort of the Year at the International Gaming Awards in London.