While the rest of Canada could play the flagship Interprovincial Lottery Corporation game last week, residents of Québec were unable to do so due to 455 professional workers going on strike over pay and conditions.
An agreement in principle was struck last week between Loto-Québec and the protesting administration, legal and technology employees and the Syndicat des Professionnels du Gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ) union and has now been ratified by a vote among unionised staff.
Under the terms of the deal, which runs until the end of 2027, employees will work longer hours but have more flexibility on location and see increased pay. The deal includes 2% pay increases in each year of the contract, plus several bonuses including a 1% bonus for 2022, a 2.5% signing bonus and a 6.5% bonus for 2022 to be given in January. There will also be a 1% per year retention bonus in 2024 and 2025 and a 10% expertise bonus for 35 professionals.
The strike derailed the planned Québec launch of the revamped Lotto 6/49 and caused further disruptions to the working of the lottery such as consumers being unable to redeem tickets either at retail sites or via the corporation’s smart phone app.
The first Lotto 6/49 draw in Québec, following a series of modifications to the game, is to be held later today (Wednesday). Lotto 6/49 now offers two multi-million dollar jackpots with each draw, despite the CA$3 entry fee remaining the same.
The Classic Draw, which has been held for more than 40 years, has been joined by The Golden Ball Draw, which replaces the current guaranteed prize. Each draw will continue to have a guaranteed winner who secures either a $1m prize or a multi-million dollar prize.