Caesars Windsor casino workers have been on the picket line since April 6, having rejected a tentative agreement, and now the employer is willing to returning to the negotiating table.
The 2,300 workers, represented by Unifor Local 444, are seeking a resolution to workload issues and fairness for a wage increase.
“The members are all saying the bargaining team did a lot of good work but over the course of years they were treated so bad this is not enough,” said James Stewart, local 444 President, about the wage increases, particularly in the context of the substantial raise to the minimum wage. “If all they’re getting is 75 cents for the first year and 50 cents in the next two years, that’s nowhere near an increase that’s proportional to the new minimum wage.”
While negotiations have been difficult and the employer has gone back and forth on whether or not to resume talks, the union recently received confirmation Caesars will start talks again. This is welcome news despite the company cancelling all its shows through the month of April.
The bargaining committee met on Tuesday, April 10 to finalize proposals to present the employer. In the meantime, workers are still on the picket line to keep the pressure on the employer on.
“This is an issue about fairness and respect and our members are preparing for the long haul,” said Stewart. “The labour solidarity already has been great, and the determination and energy on the line is strong.”
Members of the community are welcome to join the workers on the picket lines that have been set up at Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Drive East, Windsor, Ontario. For up to date information visit local 444’s twitter @LOCAL444UNIFOR.