Tentative deal could end 42-day strike at casino
Union hopes agreement will launch ‘harmonious’ new chapter with Caesars
A tentative agreement reached early Thursday morning between Caesars Windsor management and the casino’s striking workers will hopefully be the start of a new chapter should ratification occur on Friday, said Dave Cassidy, president of Unifor Local 444. “We hope to start a new harmonious (relationship) with changes for the betterment of everybody,” he said. “I think we have addressed a lot of issues where people have talked about respect.
“I’m optimistic our membership will like the agreement we bring back to them.”
The union announced shortly after 1:30 a.m. that its bargaining team had reached a new deal with Caesars after negotiations resumed Tuesday.
It is the second time 2,300 fulltime, part-time and casual workers will be asked to vote on a deal. Union membership voted against the initial agreement by a 59 per cent majority, leading to a strike that began on April 6 and has so far lasted 42 days.
No details of the latest deal are being released pending the ratification vote.
The vote will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the WFCU Centre (8787 McHugh St.). Voting members are required to bring their badge or union card.
“I am very excited with the tentative agreement we have to bring back,” Cassidy said. “The committee worked diligently. We turned over every rock and straightened out everything we could.” Cassidy took over as union president about midway through the strike. He inherited the job from James Stewart, who has assumed Cassidy ’s former role as the union’s secretary treasurer. After weeks of no communication, the two sides returned to the table on Tuesday with the assistance of a provincial conciliator. Following a short session on Tuesday, a marathon session that lasted more than 15 hours began on Wednesday and finally resulted in a deal being struck early Thursday morning.
“Nobody likes to see a strike,” Cassidy said. “This membership
Nobody likes to see a strike. ... I can tell you there have been many days where I have not slept.
has been very determined and very strong. I can tell you there have been many days where I have not slept and have been thinking about the sacrifices they have made.” Caesars management won’t comment until after the ratification vote.
“Further updates will be shared when available,” said Jhoan Baluyot, the casino’s manager of public relations. Discussions were to begin on Thursday afternoon on a procedure to ramp up casino and hotel operations, pending ratification, but there was no indication yet how long it might be before casino customers and hotel guests will be welcomed back at Caesars. Once ratification is confirmed, the casino “will share important information” in terms of resuming operations, Baluyot said. Added Cassidy: “Our membership is anxious to provide the highquality service the Caesars brand has always been known for."