150 Grosvenor Casino Staff to Down Tools as Strike Action Sweeps UK

  • 150 Grosvenor casino workers will strike from 6pm Friday through 6am Monday
  • Staff deemed retention payments of £600 ($693) and £800 ($925) “totally inadequate” 
  • Disappointed by the strike, Rank claims its “strong” offer fairly addresses issues
  • The strike adds to the uncertainty of the UK gambling industry, with reforms parked
Grosvenor casino sign
A 150-strong casino worker strike is set for seven Grosvenor Casino venues in London starting Friday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Strike inbound

The UK may have a new prime minister in Lizz Truss, but the region still has plenty of issues. As a result of the rising cost of living and inflation, various UK-wide strikes and union-backed ultimatums are sweeping the country, and Grosvenor Casino workers are planning to join the party.

voted in favor of a 72-hour strike

The UK and Ireland’s largest trade union, Unite the Union, issued a statement on Monday affirming that 91% of its members employed by Grosvenor Casinos had voted in favor of a 72-hour strike.

Unite shared an excerpt from secretary general Sharon Graham’s statement via Twitter, in which she accuses the Rank Group-owned casino firm of getting rich on profits while not paying its workers a decent living wage.

The 150 casino workers will strike from 6pm Friday through 6am Monday. All seven Grosvenor venues set to be affected by the walkout are in London, including The Barracuda, The Gloucester, The Golden Horseshoe, The Park Tower, The Rialto, The St Giles, and The Victoria.

The Rank response

The Grosvenor casino workers have overwhelmingly rejected retention bonus payments of £600 ($693) and £800 ($925) as “totally inadequate.” Unite said they want an improved pay agreement “amid a grave and growing cost of living crisis.”

deemed the retention bonus payment offer fair

Grosvenor’s holding brand, the Rank Group, responded in a defensive manner to the plans. A spokesperson described the company as “disappointed” by the intention to strike. They also deemed the retention bonus payment offer fair.

“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,” the spokesman stated.

Unite, however, posits that since the Rank Group returned profits of £74m ($85m) so far this year, the company should be able to provide a more realistic pay increase. Graham said Grosvenor’s refusal to pay workers enough to live on was “not acceptable” and that the move to strike underlines the “sense of anger across this workforce.” 

Grosvenor casino staff are certainly not the only workers downing tools. The UK’s criminal trial lawyers began a strike Monday, with airport, railway, telecom, postal, public transport, and dock workers also all currently striking or making demands.

Industry in a vacuum

With the UK’s white paper on gambling reform shoved so far down the government’s list of priorities that it might never again see the light of day, the casino workers’ strike adds to an increasingly Wild West landscape as the UK gambling industry continues to operate in a vacuum.

The election of Liz Truss as PM this week has made any reform unlikely in the near future. As a result, what many deemed questionably timed front-of-shirt sponsorship deals struck by major gambling brands Stake, W88, and Dafabet with English Premier League (EPL) soccer franchises now appear sound business.