Caesars Windsor strike over after workers accept deal

Caesars Windsor employees will be heading back to work, after members ratified a tentative agreement on Monday.

Casino property to open Thursday, June 7 at 11 a.m.

For the first time in more than 60 days Caesars Windsor's marquee is lit. Employees have accepted a third tentative agreement, ending the strike. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Caesars Windsor workers have voted to ratify a deal that will send them back to work.

About 75 per cent of members voted in favour of the tentative agreement presented to them Monday morning, after bargaining talks between casino management and union leaders wrapped up over the weekend. 

It's the third agreement in the two-month long labour dispute.

"We might have missed the mark a couple times but our membership stayed strong, the 75 per cent is phenomenal," said Unifor Local 444 president Dave Cassidy. "[It] sends the message our membership is behind us."

"This is the toughest bargaining I've been a part of," said Cassidy. 

Caesars Windsor said the casino and hotel property will reopen at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 7. They're also taking hotel and diner reservations online immediately. 

Ariius nightclub will reopen Friday at 9 p.m.

Watch what Cassidy said after members accepted their new deal:

Cassidy said that just under 2,000 employees voted on Monday.

In their last vote on May 18, about 53 per cent of members turned down a deal. In the first vote, 59 per cent rejected a tentative deal.

"Now we're focused on moving forward and doing what we do best," said Jhoan Baluyot, Manager of PR and Communications for Caesars Windsor.

Baluyot said the casino will not disclose how much revenue was lost due to the strike.

Workers ready to go back

The 2,300 unionized employees were called to the Ciociaro Club where they were presented with the new deal to vote on.

Casual employee Pam Caruana was asked as she left the vote if workers are happy with what they saw.

"I personally am. I don't know about everybody else," she said.

Some of the workplace issues Caruana and other employees were concerned about had been addressed, she said, and the union pointed to some round table discussions that helped them strike this new deal.

"I think it did help for the president ... he said it was valuable information," said Caruana.

"We want to get back to work we miss our customers we love our jobs ... but we also want to be respected as well," she said. 

Mike Quaglia said he also wants to go back to work.

"I thought it was alright. I mean we've been out long enough it's time to go back," he said, adding "the deal was good."

Unifor Local 444 members and casino management met with a mediator last week for "exploratory" discussions. Unifor National president Jerry Dias and Caesars Windsor regional president Kevin Laforet both attended the meetings.

Follow CBC reporter Chris Ensing as he covers the vote:

On mobile? Follow along here.

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