Solidarity and Disappointment Mark A Rally Of Striking Caesars Workers

Striking Caesars Windsor workers are showing solidarity with a rally on Day 33.

Unifor members, from as far away as Chatham, are bussing in to support the more than 2,100 Local 444 members.

President James Stewart says he's disappointed Caesars has now chosen to eliminate bookings through the month of May.

Local Secretary Treasurer Dave Cassidy is poised to be the local's next President later this month and told the rally he's going to take the gloves off.

"I'm here because I'm going to be the bad cop, y'know we need this bargaining committee to seal the deal eventually" says Cassidy. "As most of you know I haven't had a very good relationship with the CEO and President Kevin Laforet, and quite frankly I don't give a damn."

He says the working conditions of the members are unfair.

"To Kevin Laforet, through you in the media, through the media, I send a message of solidarity from our brothers and sisters.  Who on earth in this year have to wait in their cars for two days in order to get prime time off to be with their families"

Dana Dunphy, Caesars Windsor Unifor Chairperson says solidarity is a key.

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Unifor Local 444 Caesars Chairperson Dana Dunphy, May 8, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

"These rallies are important to us, we've got to stick together as Dave said there's been some battles on Facebook.  Let's not get divided, lets stand together one day longer one day stronger."

Cassidy also called out Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens for remaining silent on the strike.

Meanwhile, Ontario's minister of labour is urging both sides of the Caesars strike to get back to the table.

Minister Kevin Flynn was responding Tuesday to a question in the Ontario legislature by Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield who questioned what the province was doing to end the month long strike.

Hatfield points out although Caesars is the contractor/manager of the casino, the facility is owned by the taxpayers which means the province is losing millions of dollars in revenue.

"We have got some of the best mediators that are working on this speaker," said Minister Flynn. "I would urge both sides to come back to the table.  We know the best agreements are the ones that are reached by the parties at the table speaker, we do everything we possibly can to assist in this regard."

MPP Hatfield believes the province can do more to end this strike.

"This government has an obligation to the taxpayers as well as the men and women on the picket line to do more, to work harder, to apply pressure on Caesars to return to the bargaining table to  hammer out a settlement."

Minister Flynn points out 98% of agreements are reached without a strike or lock-out.

--With files from AM800's Teresinha Medeiros