Over the weekend Unifor made some significant progress in its discussions over a new collective agreement with the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation in Ontario. The labour union has now reached a tentative agreement with six of the eight casinos for improved terms and wages. More details on the new deals will be released after a ratification vote this week.
Last week, unionized members of eight Great Canadian Gaming Corporation properties expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of a new collective agreement. And even said that they were ready to go out on strike, if an arrangement was not found before Friday, July 22, 2022, at midnight. Negotiations went to wire, and two casinos failed to negotiate a new contract.
Significant Progress Made
Chris MacDonald, Assistant to the Unifor National President issued a statement during the weekend. Which, he stated that casino workers have had a major role in the recovery of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s properties from the unprecedented situation and the many closing downs. He shared that it has also been a tough spell for staff and the agreement is a step in the right direction.
As of now, bargaining teams of Unifor managed to sign tentative agreements with the following casino properties in Ontario – Great Blue Heron Casino, Casino Woodbine, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands, and Shorelines Casino Peterborough, and agreement for security staff at Elements Casino Mohawk and Elements Casino Brantford. While teams are still negotiating with Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Ajax, and there the strike continues.
Corey Dalton, President of Local 1090 said that there is an unacceptable difference in the wages and benefits between workers at the same positions for the same employer which are an hour down the highway. According to him, the strike is about fair working conditions across the gaming sector in the province during these turbulent economic times.
Unifor Local 1090 represents over 1,500 staff members at Great Blue Heron Casino, Casino Woodbine, Pickering Casino Resort, Casino Ajax, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands, and Shorelines Casino Peterborough. While Unifor Local 252 represents 30 security officers at Elements Casino Mohawk, Unifor Local 504 has 300 at Elements Casino Brantford, and Local 504 has 275 at Elements Casino Mohawk.
Succesful Negotiations in 2022
Earlier this year, Unifor managed to agree on new collective agreements with two major gaming properties in Ontario – Caesars Casino Windsor and Casino Rama. In March Unifor Local 444 struck a deal with the operator of Caesars Windsor Casino – Caesars Entertainment for an improved contract which will increase wages for unionized staff over the course of next three years.
A month after that, Unifor Local 1090 negotiated a new collective agreement for its member who work at Casino Rama operated by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment. The new arrangement is in play for the next three years, and it will award workers with a wage boost of 9.5% over the duration of the agreement while also increasing skilled trades by 15%.
Source: “Unifor reaches tentative agreements with six casino units”, Cision, July 23, 2022