(WINDSOR, ON) – Striking Caesars Windsor workers will continue to walk the picket line after 52.8% voted to reject the latest offer today. Employees met at the WFCU Centre this morning where Unifor local 444 negotiators spelled out the offer in detail before they voted.
Union reps were greeted at times by audible boos from the gathered workers.
“Obviously the membership is not happy with the deal. And we respect that part,” said an obviously frustrated Dave Cassidy, the president of Local 444 . “We have squeezed the washcloth. There’s not not another drop to get there.”
The four-year deal rejected today included a $2.25 pay increase over the span of the agreement.
“It’s not about money or pensions or signing bonuses,” said one worker. “It’s about the treatment of employees by management, working conditions, hours of work, and vacations. It’s about mental health.”
Cassidy said that he’ll have to get back together with the union bargaining team and figure out where to go from here.
“We brought everything we had back to this group. I have to respect the will of the membership. They decided,” he told media. “When you put your heart and soul into it to get to the finish line. And we were a little short.”
In discussions with the membership on the picket line, Cassidy said there are a lot of issues that have built up over the past 20 years. He doesn’t have a clear idea of how much longer the strike could continue.
“This is unfortunate. We are incredibly disappointed in the outcome of today’s vote which was fully endorsed by both the Unifor National and Local 444 Bargaining teams,” said Caesars Windsor regional president Kevin Laforet in a statement released by the casino. “The agreement is more than fair and sustainable. I personally want to apologize for the continued inconvenience this causes our customers. The long term effect on our business goes well beyond revenue loss and is immeasurable.”
Caesars Windsor said there were no plans to return to bargaining at this time.