Unifor and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation had time until Friday, July 22, 2022, to strike a new collective agreement for Casino Ajax and Pickering Casino Resort. However, the two parties did not find a middle ground in their negotiations for unionized employees of the two South Durham gaming properties before the deadline. Therefore, a strike commenced at both venues.
Last week, Unifor and its members threatened the operator of eight casinos in Ontario, that if an agreement is not reached by midnight on Friday, a strike will follow. When the deadline ensued, the union had managed to strike deals for six of the gaming amenities. However, ones could not be found for Ajax Casino and Pickering Casino Resort in South Durham.
Despite the strikes at the two gaming amenities, the employer has reported that work at the venues will continue 24 hours a day as they offer slots and electronic table games. Meanwhile, live table games at Pickering Casino Resorts will suspend operations until further notice. However, Unifor Local 1090 warns patrons about possible short delays upon arrival.
The labour union also asks visitors to approach the picket lines slowly and safely. It also informed that patrons will be most likely urged by the protesting staff to honk in order to show their support for the staff, which fights for a fair and equitable collective agreement. It also revealed that the emergency vehicle will have unobstructed access to all entrances of both properties.
In its statement, the union also advised patrons who visit Pickering Casino Resort to use the west entrance of the gaming establishment, which is towards Squire Beach Road. This way they will be able to avoid unsafe traffic backups on Church Street. And to also take their funds out of Durham during the time of the ongoing picket line.
Casino Ajax also issued a statement in which its management said that it is hopeful that this type of disruption will have a limited impact on its operations. The casino has even implemented several contingency plans that will allow it to remain open. Its Getaway restaurant will remain open but with slightly changed hours, while the Casual restaurant in Pickering will work from Wednesday to Sunday.
Six Casinos Find Agreement
During the weekend, Unifor revealed that its bargaining teams managed to agree on new terms and signed tentative agreements for six casino properties of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. The six venues are Great Blue Heron Casino, Casino Woodbine, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands, Shorelines Casino Peterborough, Elements Casino Mohawk, and Elements Casino Brantford. A vote will be held this week to ratify the contract.
In March this year, Unifor Local 444, also successfully negotiated a new deal for its unionized employees of Caesars Windsor Casino. Discussion started a month prior to that, and the new agreement would increase the wages of staff in the course of the next three years. According to the union, over 93% of the staff agreed to the terms.
Source: Hall Chris “ON STRIKE: Unionized workers at Ajax, Pickering casinos off the job”, Durham Region, July 25, 2022