Windsor

Casino workers hold rally after Caesars announces show cancellations through May

The union representing striking casino workers held a rally on Tuesday, a day after Caesars Windsor announced they would postpone shows and cancel hotel bookings for the month of May.

Mayor Drew Dilkens says he has "not been asked to play any meaningful role" in bargaining talks

Striking Caesars Windsor employees hold signs at a union rally in downtown Windsor on Tuesday May 8, 2018. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

The union representing striking casino workers held a rally Tuesday — just one day after Caesars Windsor announced it would postpone shows and cancel hotel bookings for the month of May. 

"Today is a message of disappointment," said James Stewart, president of Unifor Local 444. "We want to be back at the bargaining table."

Staffing level and job security remain at the forefront of bargaining between casino staff and management. Workers walked off the job on April 6 after 59 per cent voted to reject a tentative deal.

"There was 5,000 members here at one time when you're talking about the history of the casino," said Stewart. "We're down to 2,300 and it's not all based on competition, it's based on greed." 

It's not clear when the union and casino management will resume talks, which last broke off about three weeks ago.

Unifor Local 444 president James Stewart said the union wants back at the bargaining table, but have not heard from casino management. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

"The facts are, we reached out to the company as late as last week asking them to get to the table," said Stewart. 

"The response from the company is a post to their website saying they've cancelled and postponed all the shows now to the end of May."

Mayor Drew Dilkens spoke with CBC News, responding to UNIFOR's request to be "more visible" during the strike:

Mayor Drew Dilkens on Caesars Windsor strike

3 years ago
0:42
Mayor Drew Dilkens said there is a lack of communication between the mayor's office and Unifor Local 444. 0:42

Shows and hotel bookings at Caesars Windsor will be cancelled through the month of May, including Pitbull (May 25), Lee Brice (May 26) and Daniel O'Donnell (May 27).

"This is a difficult message to release again," said Caesars Entertainment regional president Kevin Laforet in a statement. "As with earlier decisions to postpone upcoming concerts and cancel hotel reservations, it is necessary in order to give our customers advance notice to make alternate plans."

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