BREAKING: Caesars And Unifor Heading Back To The Table

For the first time since April 18th, Caesars Windsor and Unifor Local 444 are expected to return to the bargaining table.

Local 444 President James Stewart says the union and company are tentatively set to meet with a provincial conciliator next Tuesday.

"We plan to pull the bargaining committee Monday just to make sure we have our ducks in a row, make sure we understand everything and hopefully Tuesday back to the table with a goal of trying to achieve a collective agreement." 

He says the union received notice on Thursday that Caesars wanted to resume talks.

"We need to get in the room and have the conversation with the casino one way or another," says Stewart.  "At this point now that there's talks planned, I don't want to get into the full plan for bargaining but we do want to get to the table.  We want to talk to them, we want to reiterate some of the issues that our members have and see where it goes."      

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Caesars Windsor workers on the picket line. April 6, 2018 (Photo by AM800's Rob Hindi)

He believes it's important for both parties to get in the same room and have a conversation.

"When you're talking it's a positive step," says Stewart.  "We can't resolve our problems if we're not in the room together, not across the table talking to each other.  So absolutely it's a positive step."     

When the two sides last met, talks only lasted two hours.

More than 2100 unionized workers at the casino hit the picket lines on April 6 to back contract demands.

They walked off the job after turning down a proposed three year tentative deal by 59 percent.

The deal had included a 9.5% wage increase over the life of the agreement,  a $1150 signing bonus for full-time workers,  a 1% increase in pension contributions and improved job security for restaurant workers. 

Earlier this week, Caesars postponed the Pitbull show along with the Lee Brice and Daniel O'Donnell shows.

Hotel reservations booked through May 31 have also been cancelled.