Windsor Casino Workers Win Strike Ratify Contract

Windsor, Ontario

May 17, 2004


Please note that you will need a copy of RealPlayer installed on your computer in order to view the following video file(s).

Download a RealMedia version (.rm)


Windsor Casino Workers Win Strike Ratify Contract
Windsor Casino Workers Win Strike Ratify Contract
dated May 17, 2004

Windsor, Ontario
May 13, 2004

       The six-week long strike at the Windsor Casino ended Thursday May 13th with a 92.8 per cent vote in favour of a new four-year agreement. CAW Local 444 president Ken Lewenza.

Ken Lewenza
CAW Local 444 President

       "It was a wonderful vote of confidence after one heck of a struggle, but I think our members are going to go back feeling good about the union, feeling good about the collective agreement and again feeling good about working at Casino Windsor based on the changes that we are going to make and I think to is a positive for CAW local 444 and it's a positive for Casino Windsor."

       Bargaining Chair Charie Virga had this reaction after the announcement of the vote results.

Charie Virga
Bargaining Chair

       "It just feels great. Ninety-two per cent. We are going to go back to a much better work place when this is all done."

Windsor, Ontario
May 13, 2004

       The four year agreement gives the workers a 50 cent an hour increase in the first year, and 40 cents an hour in each of the following three years, along with $1,500 signing bonus for full time workers and $1,200 for part time workers. A key victory was the right to swap shifts with co-workers. A right the company tried to take away in their April 30th offer, which the workers rejected by a 57 per cent vote. Lewenza says that willingness to stay out on strike strengthened the union.

Ken Lewenza
CAW Local 444 President

       "We thought we had a tentative agreement. We thought our bargaining committee read our membership right. But one thing about this organization, we support democracy and we support the reality that as a result of that meeting we have all learned, we have all gained and we are better people as a result of that terrible meeting at the Windsor arenas and we have a better collective agreement as a result of that terrible meeting at the Windsor arena."

       CAW national president Buzz Hargrove congratulated the workers on their fight back and assured them the union will make sure the company treats them with respect in the future.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "Your fight not only improved your wages, your job security, your pensions, your benefits, your working conditions and you've got a commitment from a management now that I believe, I hope have learned the lesson that respect and dignity are cheap, they are easy to provide, and they damn well better provide them or they will face the wrath of the workers four years from this point Brothers and sisters."

       Hargrove said the Casino Windsor contract will be used to set the standard for the entire gamining industry in Ontario.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

       "You're gong to give great heart to the workers of the Great Blue Heron Casino who are struggling trying to get a first agreement as you did a decade ago, against an intransient management that refuses to bargain on almost every issue and we are heading into a strike vote there in a couple of weeks time. So they are going to heart. And I believe the Casino Niagara, Casino Rama and other workers who don't have a union will take heart from your fight as well and look at the benefits of belonging to a union."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


Print Print  Send to a friend Send to a friend  Feedback Feedback