The strike that closed down Caesars Windsor for two months has finally come to end after workers agreed with the latest tentative agreement reached between the casino and the labour union. On Monday, 75 per cent of unionized casino employees ratified the new three-year contract, which includes a wage increase of $1.75 over three years.
Unifor Local 444, the union representing around 2,100 to 2,300 workers at Caesars Windsor, held a ratification vote for its members on Monday after striking a deal with the casino over the weekend. This was the third tentative agreement presented to employees and this time, the majority (75%) voted in favour of the proposal. It concerns the new, three-year collective contracts of housekeepers, front desk agents, cooks, servers, dealers, and other workers at the largest casino resort in the Province of Ontario.
Since the beginning of the labour disruption at Caesars Windsor on April 6, the resort has been nonoperational, including its hotel part, the casino, and the 5,000-seat concert theatre, called the Colosseum. After sixty days, the longest closure the casino resort has ever seen, the strike is finally over and workers will be returning to their jobs. According to the official statement on Caesars Windsor website, the property will reopen for the public Thursday, June 7. Restaurants and all other amenities will resume their operations with their regular business hours, the statement also reads.
The terms the two sides in this two-month long labour dispute settled upon are rather similar to the previous proposals made by the casino. According to the newly ratified contracts, workers will receive a pay raise of $1.75 an hour over the next three years, as well as signing bonuses of either $1,600 or $1,200, whether they are full-time or part-time employees. The so-called “casual employees” will be given a signing bonus of $675. There are also additional terms concerning job security and outsourcing, Unifor Local 444 Dave Cassidy says.
Resort Reopens Thursday, Reschedules Shows
After 60 days on the picket line, workers ratified the new contracts and agreed to end the strike, which has been the longest labour disruption in the history of the casino resort. In its official statement, Caesars Windsors says it is satisfied with the development and happy to welcome back its guests. The reservations for the hotel and Neros can be accessed online and if cancelled, they should be rebooked. The resort has cancelled room reservations several times since the beginning of the labour dispute.
Many shows and concerts at the Colosseum have also been postponed, but on Monday, Caesars Windsor posted several rescheduled shows. The new dates include Pitbull on June 23, David Foster on August 3, Cole Swindell on August 9, Darcy Oake on August 16, Lee Brice on August 31, Johnny Reid on September 15, Blink-182 on September 18, Buddy Guy on October 3, Terry Fator on November 17, and Brian Wilson on November 25. These shows are just some of the many concerts and events planned for 2018 as Caesars Windsor celebrates its 10th anniversary.
The reopening of the resort should be a good news to the local community, as this is the largest casino resort of this type in Ontario. As such, it attracts thousands of visitors to the City of Windsor, which is only a short drive away from Detroit, a U.S. city that was once known for its automotive industry but now has three large casinos, developed as Caesars Windsor’s competitors.