Unifor Casino Workers Give the Nod to New Collective Agreements

Finally, the Unifor members working at Elements Casino Brantford, Casino Ajax and Port Perry-based Great Blue Heron Casino have given the nod to a new collective agreement with the Great Canadian Casinos. The ratified collective agreement is for a four-year period.
The President of Unifor National, Jerry Dias, has shared that the members of the workers’ union who were employed in the country’s gambling sector were crucial for the industry. Mr. Dias praised the employees, saying that they had earned a share of the gains accumulated by the casino employer.
As revealed by Casino Reports, first, a tentative agreement was reached between the Great Canadian Casino Corporation and about 1,800 individuals employed at five of its Ontario casinos. The provisional agreement between the casino operator and the Unifor members from Unifor Local 1090 which has represented the employees at Great Blue Heron Casino and Casino Ajax, and Unifor Local 504 which has represented the employees at Elements Casino Brantford, was reached on July 26th.
Under the new collective agreement, casino workers will see a wage increase in each year of the four-year contract, as well as an 1% increase to the pension. Moreover, the new contract is to make sure that the workers at Casino Ajax would be able to retain the benefits of their union membership after the expansion of the Pickering Casino is finalized.
The Regional Director of Unifor Ontario, Naureen Rizvi confirmed that an agreement about the wage and pension advantage was reached and explained that the protection of union members’ benefits when the employer shifts work to different gambling sites was an advantage of the collective contract.
As far as Unifor members who were working in security at Elements Casino Mohawk and Woodbine Casino are concerned, they voted on the ratification of 3-year collective agreements on July 27th and 28th, respectively.
Collective Agreements Put an End to Strike Action
For the time being, the Great Canadian Casino Corporation (GCCC) employs more than 9,400 Canadian citizens at its 28 properties across the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, as well as in the US state of Washington.
Approximately 1,800 casino workers have been on strike, protesting against their working conditions and mostly against their low wages. The last time when the casino workers have seen a wage increase of 1.75% was almost ten years ago.
This year, the employees of a number of casinos on the territory of Canada have gone on strike, as they have been trying to improve their working conditions. Several months ago, Unifor, which is currently the biggest union in the private sector of Canada managed to reach a collective agreement between about 2,300 workers and the owners of the Caesars Windsor casino, after the employees walked off their jobs after they had turned down a previous tentative agreement.