On Sunday, April 22, close to a thousand people from the Windsor community gathered outside the Caesars Windsor casino for a solidarity rally in support of the 2,300 hospitality workers who have been on strike since April 6.
The striking members of Unifor Local 444 were joined at the rally by Unifor National President, Jerry Dias; the National Secretary-Treasurer Bob Orr; and Assistant to the National President, Deb Tveit.
“I want to recognize all of you who have worked here each and every day and who are walking the picket lines,” said Dias during his rally speech. “There wouldn’t be one penny of profit if it wasn’t for our brains, our sweat, and our commitment.”
In an effort to reach a new tentative agreement the negotiations resumed on April 18 but failed to lead to any progress. The energy on the picket line has been high throughout the course of the legal strike action. Sunday’s solidarity rally was called by Unifor’s leadership to make it clear that the hospitality workers were not alone on the line and had the support of the union.
“We’re rallying to show the company we’re all in this together and we have full support from the union,” said Dana Dunphy, Local 444 Caesars Windsor Unit Chairperson. “From the national to other locals all across Ontario we’re standing together.”
In addition to Unifor leaders, and representatives from various Unifor locals, local politicians came out in support of the striking workers and included: Essex Member of Parliament, Tracey Ramsey; Windsor West Member of Parliament, Brian Masse; Windsor-Tecumseh Member of Parliament Cheryl Hardcastle; Windsor West Member of Provincial Parliament, Lisa Gretzky; and Windsor-Tecumseh Member of Provincial Parliament, Percy Hatfield.
With the well-attended and high-energy solidarity event sending a clear sign that the community is behind the striking workers, it’s now time to get back to the table.
National Secretary-Treasurer Bob Orr who also spoke at the event told the crowd, “There are thousands of families in this community who aren’t receiving their pay cheque and in turn they’re not spending money so it hurts everyone in the community.”
“It’s time for this company to find a real solution. This has to be settled through direct negotiations and it’s about fairness for the workers” said Orr.