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Ontario casino workers authorise strikes if new deals not reached by 22 July

Casino workers in Ontario have voted to strike if new contracts are not agreed by Friday 22 July.

Canada’s most populous province could see over 1,500 employees across eight properties walk out later this month if new agreements are not reached.

Unifor, a Canadian trade union representing casino workers in Ontario, is currently engaged in negotiations for improved wages, benefits and pensions for members who work at table games, slots and security, among other roles.

The union is also seeking to convert part-time or so-called “casual” positions into full-time roles, thereby increasing “the share of good, stable jobs.”

“Casino employers have bounced back following the pandemic-related closures,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer.

“Our goal at the bargaining table is to share some of those gains with the workers who make casinos successful.”

The eight casinos involved include Great Blue Heron Casino, Casino Woodbine, Pickering Casino Resort, Casino Ajax, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands and Shorelines Casino Peterborough.

These are run by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation (GCGC), which was acquired by an Apollo Global Management affiliate last September.

Corey Dalton, President of Unifor Local 1090, which represents approximately 1,500 casino workers, said improved wages and benefits for employees would translate to tangible benefits for operators.

“We value our customers and the relationships we’ve built with guests over the years,” he remarked. “Good wages and benefits translates directly into job satisfaction and that’s good for business.”

This comes after Atlantic City narrowly avoided strikes earlier his month as last-minute deals were secured at five casinos facing walkouts: Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s, Tropicana and Hard Rock.

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