Windsor casino workers continue strike following contract rejection
25 May 2018
Workers at the Caesars Windsor casino are continuing a walkout, which began April 6, after voting down a proposed four-year contract that had been recommended by the Unifor union. The 2,300 workers—including dealers, cooks, housekeepers, cashiers and janitors—have been on strike for seven weeks at the casino, which is located in Windsor, Ontario, across the river from Detroit, Michigan.
Last week workers voted by 53 percent to reject the union-backed deal, which was virtually identical to the tentative deal they rejected before the strike began. Workers told World Socialist Web Site reporters they were incensed by the union-management effort to add another year to the contract in exchange for an additional 50 cent per hour raise and a $500 increase in the signing bonus. The no vote was particularly courageous given that Unifor is forcing workers to survive on CA$250 weekly strike pay.
For its part, management has remained intransigent, cancelling hotel reservations through June 16.
“A lot of workers were not interested in a four-year deal,” one striker told the WSWS. “The bargaining committee knew that, but they brought it anyway.”
Another worker agreed, “The contract length was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Workers told the WSWS that the majority of workers walked out before the end of the meeting last Friday once Unifor officials proposed to extend the contract to four years. The original company offer, rejected by a 59 percent margin by workers, contained a $1.75 raise over three years and a miniscule one percent raise to the inferior defined contribution pension plan.
From day one of the strike, Unifor has…