Casino strikes were looming across Ontario as the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation had yet to sign new agreements with the Unifor union. On Saturday, the company announced a tentative agreement was signed with the union, stopping six casinos from continuing with the scheduled strike. There are still two casinos affected by the union power move, as an agreement was not signed as of writing.
A Strike Was Imminent
The union representing casino workers of Great Canadian Gaming Corp. casino workers announced on July 18 that a strike would occur involving just under 2,000 employees. The strike was to begin at 12:01 am on Saturday if a deal was not reached.
On Saturday morning, the union announced that the following casinos signed tentative agreements via bargaining committees:
- Casino Woodbine
- Elements Casino Mohawk
- Elements Casino Brantford
- Great Blue Heron Casino
- Shorelines Casino Peterborough
- Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands.
While six of the affected casinos were able to come to an agreement, two have not. Casino Ajax and Pickering Casino are the remaining casinos that have yet to sign a new deal. Employees will continue to be on strike within these venues until a deal is made.
Requests of Casino Employees
The new agreements with Great Canadian Gaming Corp. will need to be reviewed, and ratification votes complete before the process is official. Details of the deals remain a mystery. We do know that key issues among employees include pensions, benefits, and wage needs.
Employees want to be recognized for their hard work, especially as they remained in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that casinos in Ontario have bounced back from the pandemic, employees want to receive gains as well.
Lana Payne, the national secretary-treasurer for Unifor, commented when the strike news first broke that employees are the ones who make the casinos successful, and they should be able to share in the gains. Good wages and benefits create happy workers, who then help to create a rewarding environment for the casino operator.
It will certainly be interesting to see the details of the deals and just how much of an incentive change that workers will receive from the casino company. Great Canadian Gaming Corp. has been in business since 1982 in Ontario and other provinces. We expect the remaining casinos to sign new union agreement deals sometime this week.
Once the agreement ratification process is completed, more details of the new agreements should be made public.