A strike planned by union workers at six of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s eight casinos in Ontario was eventually called off on Saturday as a result of a new tentative agreement.
More than 2,000 individuals were expected to join the strike, which was set to take place at noon on Saturday and was intended to put pressure on the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation to renegotiate their contract. The strike would initially target the front office, gaming, dining, and guest services departments of the casino, as well as other areas of the industry.
“We’re talking, we’re actively negotiating. We’re not at a standstill on anything at this point and we’ve got 96 hours to the deadline and we’re hoping that we get there,” said Rob Bicknell, the union chair for the Scugog Island casino, addressing the media on Tuesday.
The union’s motivation for seeking a new contract is their desire to see the salaries, pensions, and benefits of the workers at the Great Blue Heron raised.
“ … looking for a fair and equitable (deal) … when it comes to wages, pensions and benefits,” Bicknell added.
President of Unifor Local 1090 Corey Dalton shared Bicknell’s concerns, particularly over the current salary difference between the employees.
“There is an unacceptable gap in the wages and benefits between workers doing the same job for the same employer an hour down the highway,” Dalton said.
Meanwhile, Unifor’s national president, Chris MacDonald, explained in a statement that the new attentive deal shows that they are making progress toward their goals. Following a vote for membership approval, the new tentative agreement is expected to be issued the following week.
“It has been a very difficult period for casino workers and these tentative agreements are a step in the right direction,” MacDonald remarked.
The union also made a point of emphasizing raises for the pay and benefits of its members who hold blue-collar jobs at the Great Blue Heron. They include those who serve customers on the front lines as cashiers, security, the ones at tables and slots, as well as those who work in the kitchen, guest services, housekeeping, and maintenance.
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