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Friday, May 13, 2011

Casino cleaning up, sets reopening date

Casino cleaning up, sets reopening date

Last updated 05:00 13/05/2011
The Christchurch Casino will reopen on May 26.

Chief executive Brett Anderson said all employees had been told of the move, including those who opted for redundancy. "The focus is getting people back into work," he said.

Last month the company gave workers a choice of a four-week redundancy payout or unpaid leave.

The casino has been shut since the February 22 quake because it was in the inner-city cordon and at risk from unstable neighbouring buildings. The cordon was lifted last week and the casino cleanup effort has begun.

Anderson said the damage was "more cosmetic than anything else" and there were no structural problems.

It was not clear how many of the casino's 538 pre-quake workers would be re-employed, he said.

Service & Food Workers' Union representative Len Richards said efforts to get a better redundancy package for unionised casino workers would continue. "For them to class it as a redundancy payout is just a joke. It's just a four-week payout," he said.

Richards said the union would seek a collective agreement that would include improved redundancy terms.

Anderson said the casino would not budge on the four-week payout term.

Union calls to lobby the Government for assistance were misplaced as the casino did not qualify for financial support, he said. He dismissed union suggestions the casino was under the influence of part-owner SkyCity.

"They can suggest what they like. Christchurch Casino is a standalone entity," he said. "We make our decisions based on what's best for Christchurch Casino and no other casino."

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