Grosvenor strike goes ahead after death of Queen Elizabeth II

Among the aftermath of the death of reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II, much of the planned industrial action by unions around the UK was called off as a mark of respect. In particular, a planned work stoppage by members of the transport union, the RMT, was called off as a mark of respect to the Queen and in light of a period of national mourning. Similarly, strike action called by postal workers has been postponed for the same reason.

However, the planned strike action by workers at Grosvenor casinos in the United Kingdom did go ahead on the weekend following the monarch’s passing. Employees stopped work from 6pm on Friday, following the Queen’s death on Thursday evening, with the strike continuing until Tuesday. Those who had withdrawn their labour have since returned to work, with no further action currently scheduled.

The decision by members of the Unite union to continue with strike action did, however, come with some caveats. Initial plans for the strike had included the organisation of picket lines outside the affected facilities, but this was cancelled in light of the ongoing situation.

While the decision may seem at odds with the prevailing decisions made by trade unions, it should be noted that there is a definitive difference between rail strikes and postal strikes on one hand, and a casino employees’ strike on the other. While transport and postal strikes cause disruption – one might argue that that’s the entire point of industrial action – a casino strike merely means that casino play is prevented, or made less convenient for the duration. If a casino feels it is reasonable to open during a period of mourning, it stands to reason that a strike can also be considered appropriate, particularly one in the absence of picket action.

In any case, the strike has now happened and at the time of writing, no deal has been reached between union representatives and the Grosvenor brand. Further negotiations are not expected until after the end of the period of mourning, which will officially come at midnight on Monday, the day of the Royal funeral. Whether a deal will be achieved without further strike action taking place remains to be seen, but the situation of Grosvenor employees has not changed up to this point so it must be considered at least a possibility that further disruption could take place.

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