Woodbine and Mohawk Bartenders Ratify Watershed Contract

December 23, 2007


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Woodbine and Mohawk Bartenders Ratify Watershed Contract
Woodbine and Mohawk Bartenders Ratify Watershed Contract
dated December 23, 2007


Mississauga, Ontario
December 23, 2007

       It took 17 days on the picket line, but the CAW bargaining committee for the bartenders and servers, at Woodbine and Mohawk racetrack and slots in Ontario successfully negotiated wage and benefit improvements, job security language and many other gains for 185 full time and part time workers. Hemi Mitic, Assistant to CAW National President Buzz Hargrove, said that in addition to these workplace improvements the workers are better positioned to fight for their rights.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

       "Bargaining is not just about wages and benefits and that's the end of it. Bargaining is about making sure that your collective agreement has the guts that allow you to go in and protest and raise your issues as it relates to favouritism or anything else that happens in this industry. That's why it was critical for us to try and make sure that we improved the ingredients in the guts of the collective agreement."
       This was the workers' first contract since joining the CAW in August of 2007. After CAW National Representative Brian Stevens outlined the details of the agreement the membership cast their ballots overwhelmingly in favour of the contract.

Brian Stevens
CAW National Rep.

       "By a margin of 90 per cent, 80 of you voted in favour of the agreement, 8 opposed, so by a margin of 90 per cent we do have a collective agreement which will carry us through to 2010 and congratulations to you."
       Sue Woodyatt and Debbie Maltais, members of the bargaining committee, said the contract gives them the tools they need to move forward.

Sue Woodyatt
Bargaining Committee

       "I think we are in a better place then we have ever been and I think the CAW has done a great job to build a really solid foundation for our members in the workplace and I am looking forward to going back."


Debbie Maltais
Bargaining Committee

       "I'm happy with the agreement, And in the next three years there will be room for improvement but I am glad that we have a foundation, a really good foundation."
       The inclusion of strong workplace language in this contract is a watershed for future contracts in the gaming industry according to Mitic.

Hemi Mitic
Assistant to CAW National President

       "The casino, gaming and hospitality business is one that is expanding in the country. We have to make sure that we set some standards that are good for workers, so that they are dealt with in the proper and respectful way. It's a different industry and it required a different approach in many areas and I feel we have been able to do that."
       The CAW, already the largest gaming sector union in the country, will continue its efforts to organize workers in casinos, racetracks and racinos in Canada. Meanwhile Stevens said it is the dawn of a new way of life for the workers at Woodbine Entertainment.

Brian Stevens
CAW National Rep.

       "Our members will be going into the workplace with their heads held high. This is a victory for them. For the first time in their working careers here at Woodbine Entertainment this group of workers stood up and fought back and without a doubt fighting back made a difference for us in this agreement."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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