KAMLOOPS, B.C. - About 700 casino workers in the British Columbia Interior narrowly voted to accept a four-year contract agreement.

After 19 weeks on the picket lines, members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union voted 50.7 per cent in favour of the deal.

Union president Stephanie Smith says she understands some members may have felt they were being disrespected by the employer.

Smith says in a news release she's impressed by the solidarity and courage of members and they should be proud of what they achieved by sticking together in the bargaining process.

The agreement includes an average wage increase of 23.5 per cent over the life of the contract and improved benefits, especially for part-time workers.

The members work at Gateway Casinos in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton and are expected to be back on the job Saturday.

(CFJC, CHNL)

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