Over 1,800 Casino Workers in Ontario Get Ready to Strike

  • Workers at eight casinos will strike if there is no new agreement by midnight on Friday
  • All of the properties in question are owned by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation
  • The main priorities for the workers are benefits, wages, and pensions
  • Strike action is not uncommon in the North American casino sector
Young workers on strike
Workers at eight Ontario casinos are prepared to strike if there is no labor new agreement by midnight on Friday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Time ticking down

Workers at eight casinos in Ontario are getting ready to strike if there is no new agreement reached by midnight on Friday. Unifor, the biggest Canadian private sector union, said in a news release that there 1,830 casino workers are part of the strike mandate. They are employed at eight separate Great Canadian Gaming Corporation properties.

share some of those gains with the workers who make casinos successful”

Unifor national secretary-treasurer Lana Payne spoke about how casinos have bounced back strongly from pandemic-related issues and that the union’s goal “at the bargaining table is to share some of those gains with the workers who make casinos successful.”

The casino properties that will be impacted if the strike proceeds include the Shorelines Casino Peterborough, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands, Casino Woodbine, Pickering Casino Resort, Casino Ajax, and the Great Blue Heron Casino.

Core demands

The workers who are potentially going on strike cover a wide range of different roles at the casinos, including people who work at slots, table games, cashiering, housekeeping, kitchen, food, beverage, and maintenance. The main priorities in the negotiations are benefits, wages, and pensions. There are also demands to turn certain casual or part-time roles into full-time positions.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation owns 25 properties covering four provinces. It has been owned by Apollo Asset Management since September 2021.

Unifor Local 1090 is the branch that represents the majority of the Great Canadian Gaming workers. President of Unifor Local 1090 Corey Dalton spoke in the news release about how good benefits and wages for workers “translates directly into job satisfaction and that’s good for business.”

Strike action is not uncommon

Strike action at casinos is nothing new in North America. One of the regions that has seen the most action in this regard is Atlantic City, New Jersey. There have been numerous instances over the years of casino workers taking action.

Most recently, a strike involving five Atlantic City casinos was avoided by the signing of a tentative agreement shortly before the strike deadline of July 3. Union negotiators came to an agreement with the Tropicana, Harrah’s, Caesars, Hard Rock, and the Borgata. Workers were reportedly pleased with the new contracts.

strike authorization vote on Tuesday

However, there are still issues remaining in the city, with about 1,000 workers at the Golden Nugget and Resorts Casino Hotel set to hold a strike authorization vote on Tuesday. Their current contracts will expire during the summer.

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