After 42 days of strike action, during which Caesars Windsor has been shut down, a tentative agreement between the striking workers and casino management has been reached. The labour union representing approximately 2,300 Caesars Windsor employees announced the news a couple of hours ago, adding that the strike continues until the deal is ratified.
Caesars Windsor, the largest casino resort in the province of Ontario, has been closed since April 6 when workers hit the picket line after rejecting a proposed collective agreement. All concerts and shows scheduled until the end of May were postponed and all hotel reservations were cancelled. The casino in the resort, of course, also ceased operations. Now there is hope for resolving the dispute between casino management and workers, as a tentative agreement between the two sides has been just signed, Unifor Local 444 announced in a tweet around 2.00 a.m. on Thursday. The union, however, has asked its members to maintain the picket lines until further notice.
On Wednesday evening, Uniforor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy told reporters that the negotiations between their bargaining team and the casino officials were ongoing. The talks could go on through the night, he added, stating his determination to continue bargaining over the terms of the new collective agreement until necessary. Only a few hours later, he announced on Facebook that the talks have been successful and that a deal has been finally reached. When asked whether negotiations were challenging, he explained that bargaining always was challenging but also that he was satisfied that the union finally has an agreement to present to its members for approval.
For now, the picket line remains but in the morning, Unifor Local 444 will notify workers when the ratification meeting would be held. If Caesars Windsor workers approve the tentative agreement, this would mean the end of the labour strike that continues for 42 days.
No End in Sight for the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver Labour Dispute
Last Friday, workers at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver hit the picket line due to disagreement with casino management and Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which operates the facility. A few days prior to that, a strike notice was issued by the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), which represents 400 casino employees. According to the casino operator, the union did not agree with their proposal in March, so management made its final offer on April 19. It was once again rejected by the labour union, Great Canadian explains, adding that talks have not resumed ever since.
Despite the labour disruption for almost a week now, the casino is still operational. While some workers are striking and holding rallies to express their disappointment with the conditions they work in and their low wages, others remain on their jobs. On Monday, the company announced that it has been sent an order by the B.C. Labour Relations Board. It basically prohibits striking workers from blocking entry into the building. Casino General Manager Jimmy Ho said that some of the picketers demonstrated “aggressive and illegal” behaviour by making it difficult for customers and non-striking workers enter the casino.
According to Stephanie Smith, President of the BCGEU, however, employees have been following the rules, while some of the artists performing at the facility have expressed their support for the striking workers.