Great Canadian casino workers ratify new four-year deal

After two weeks of strike action, unionized casino workers at Great Canadian Entertainment casinos in Ajax and Pickering have ratified a new four-year deal.

Unifor Local 1090 announced on Aug. 4 that it had reached a tentative agreement and its membership ratified that proposed pact with 92.8 per cent support a day later, reports the Toronto Star.

According to the union, the new deal includes “significant wage increases” that average 17 per cent over the life of the agreement, with some workers receiving more than a 25 per cent raise. The two sides also established a new full-time/part-time ratio that is estimated to create between 120 and 150 new full-time positions “immediately”, said the union.

Other highlights from the agreement include benefit improvements, “major” layoff and recall improvements, additional paid bereavement, and scheduling and vacation improvements. Unifor also touted the establishment of a new paid time-off program that will allow employees up to 32 hours of new paid time-off.

Approximately 800 workers between Casino Ajax and the Pickering Casino Resort had walked off the job after a strike deadline for midnight on Friday, July 22 passed. Both gaming facilities remained open during the strike action, although live table games at the Pickering casino were unavailable.

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“These were tough negotiations and we were able to get to a tentative agreement because members took a principled stand for better working conditions,” said Corey Dalton, president of Local 1090, before the ratification vote. “Gaming sector workers deserve fairness during these uncertain economic times.””

Great Canadian thanked all of its team members and guests for their patience throughout this process, adding that “we look forward to welcoming them back and ramping up operations as quickly as possible”.

Union members at six other Great Canadian casinos in Ontario averted a strike last month after negotiating new agreements.

Including the latest tentative deal, the new agreements cover 1,830 Unifor members at eight casinos.

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