Caesars Windsor shuts down for union strike as negotiations stall

- Caesars Windsor sits nearly empty Friday as hotel and casino employees stand in the cold.

Roughly 2,300 workers went on strike at 12:01 a.m. Friday demanding better pay. 

"They're always on top when it comes to customer service and they want to be paid for it," said Dave Cassidy, Unifor Local 444 Sec. treasurer. 

After four meetings Thursday secretary treasurer of Local 444, David Cassidy says around 11 p.m. a vote count was made. Workers clearly showed that they are not happy.

"In Ontario the minimum wage went up, and a lot of our workers cusp of that minimum wage," said Cassidy.

Cassidy says employees from 60 different job classifications from dealers to guest room attendants to valets and janitors were offered $1.75 over three years and a bump in their pensions.

"When you see the non-unionized workers that got a 29 percent increase since they've had these raises," said Cassidy.

And the issue is not just money. Cassidy says the casino and hotel is understaffed and employees are overworked.

"They are the face of the facility," Cassidy said. "They're the ones who behind our workers."

The phone recording says "Caesars Windsor is temporarily closed labor disruption. We apologize for any inconvenience." 

The casino also announced the shut down on its website and Facebook page. 

Hotel reservations booked Friday through Thursday, April 12th were cancelled and Friday night's Johnny Reid concert was postponed with no new date announced.

The casino says once an agreement is reached -- its reopening date will be posted online... and now?

"We call them every day and we say are you ready to go back to the table," said Dana Dunphy, Unifor Local 444 chairperson. "They're ultimately going to decide when they're ready to talk to us."

FOX 2: "How long you guys going to be out here?"

"As long as it takes," she said.
 

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