Ontario’s largest casino resort, Caesars Windsor, cancelled all hotel reservations through June 16 and despite the ongoing labour strike, it announced several rescheduled dates for shows and concerts at the Colosseum. Meanwhile, a provincial mediator has been sent to talk to the two sides, so that negotiations between workers and the casino can be renewed.
Following a workers’ strike announcement, Caesars Windsor closed its doors on April 6 and since then, all hotel reservations were cancelled and the concerts at its 5,000-seat theatre, The Colosseum, were postponed. Now, on its website, the casino announced it cancelled hotel reservations booked through June 16. Although workers still maintain the picket lines, however, casino management has decided to reschedule some of the shows – Blink-182 (September 18), Buddy Guy (October 3), Terry Fator (November 17) and Brian Wilson on (November 25). The dates for other shows are yet to be determined. These include David Foster, Daniel O’Donnell, Darcy Oake, Lee Brice, Cole Swindell, Russell Peters and Pitbull.
At the same time, no talks are planned between the casino management and the striking workers, who are represented by Unifor Local 444. Workers have already rejected two separate tentative agreements over the terms of their new collective contracts. According to the union, wages, benefits and job security are the major issues that the two sides cannot agree on. Yesterday, Unifor Local 444 President David Cassidy said that a provincial mediator would come in Windsor on Wednesday for “exploratory discussions”. However, the two sides are not immediately returning to the bargaining table, he pointed out.
The Longest Strike at Caesars Windsor
Wednesday marks the 55th day of the ongoing labour strike at Caesars Windsor, the longest strike and the longest closure in the history of the resort. Around 2,100 workers are striking, although earlier this month, many of them voted in favour of the tentative agreement proposed by casino officials. Still, the majority (around 53 per cent) rejected the proposal, which put an end to the talks between the bargaining team and casino management.
The local union’s president, David Cassidy, explained that the provincial mediator would speak to both sides and discuss the major issues in the labour dispute that closed the largest resort in the Province of Ontario. If the two camps are willing to negotiate, the bargaining team would return immediately, Cassidy said, adding that the union members were now having internal discussions over the terms of the collective agreement. The old contracts expired back in April and the lack of mutually satisfying new contracts became the reason why workers walked off their jobs just a few days later.
Meanwhile, Caesars Windsor’s Colosseum remains one of the most popular shows and concerts venue in the area, although it is currently non-operational. July’s shows have not been postponed, so for now, Windsor residents and guests still have the opportunity to watch the performances of Bryan Adams (July 3), Sarah McLachlan (July 4), Disturbed (July 11), and Trevor Noah (July 20). The rich concert programme planned for 2018 was part of resort’s intended celebration of the 10th anniversary of Caesars Windsor.