The two remaining casinos at the heart of strike action in Ontario have come to terms with unionised workers, ending a two-week work stoppage that followed a partial deal at the end of July. Pickering Casino Resort and Casino Ajax, where workers had taken strike action on the 29th of July, have both agreed to a pay deal which has won the support of nearly 93% of union members, and workers at both have returned to the casino tables. and floor.
The initial threat of action covered eight casinos in Ontario, where workers had threatened a withdrawal of labour in the absence of a satisfactory deal on pay, benefits and employment rights. A full strike was averted at the time with the signing of a deal that saw six casinos return to work, but the deal did not cover the two remaining casinos, which promptly saw a walkout by workers at Pickering and Ajax.
Late on the 22nd of August, however, representatives from Unifor Local 1090 announced that a deal had been struck with the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation to vastly improve the working situation at the casinos. Among the conditions in the newly agreed contract were an immediate and substantial pay rise, which will see some workers receive an increase in pay of 25% and an average uplift of 17%. Also agreed was the formalisation of full-time positions for workers who had been on part-time contracts, creating close to 150 new full-time positions.
The situation in Ontario echoes that which arose in Atlantic City, where employees floated the possibility of strike action earlier this summer before coming to an eleventh-hour deal with casino management in the city. Meanwhile, the threat of strike action remains in place at London’s Grosvenor casinos in a dispute over pay for casino workers whose shift patterns involve late working hours.
Representatives from Local 1090 heralded the new deal as the result of good-faith negotiations to improve the working conditions of more than 800 workers, with further improvements to their contracts including more provision for bereavement leave and paid time off. The deal was immediately put to the vote among members of the union chapter and received approval with 92.8% of members voting to accept the deal and return to work. This follows the adoption of a 23rd of July deal which covered six casinos including Elements Casino Mohawk, Casino Woodbine, and Great Blue Heron Casino.