The Start of the Strike at the Sudbury Slots Casino
n June 2nd, 2008, frustrated casino employees were blocking the entrance of the Sudbury slots casino on their first day of protests after contract negotiations grind into a halt last Saturday. Around forty to fifty protesters blocked the entrances of the casino, telling prospective customers that the establishment is currently closed for business.
It is only the 2nd time that the casino has closed its doors since operating twenty-fours a day/seven days a week in 2000. The first time was during the power blackout in Ontario in 2003. CAW, which represents the employees, released a list of demands by the OLG that includes increasing the number of part-time employees, dismissing inputs into the schedules, making 3 hour split shift and removing union representation in some issues.
OLG spokesperson Jim Cronin released a statement that despite their best efforts, the negotiations have failed to bear fruit. Cronin said that they remain committed into continuing the negotiations until a fair settlement is reached. Cronin also apologizes to customers for the bother and remains optimistic that the issue can be settled as soon as possible.
CAW spokesperson Hemi Mitic, who is also the assistant to the CAW president said it has been a long and frustrating process. He stated some of the contentious issues between the casino and the employees, commenting that another seventy cases have been filed against the OLG this week after twenty dealers were given full-time employment by ignoring part-time employees with seniority.
Mitic commented that Ontario’s casinos earned a lot of profits and should be responsible enough to ensure that their employees have decent salary. Despite the attempts by the employee unions to factor in the bargaining for Woodbine Slots and the Sudbury slots with the Brantford casino facility, the OLG is insisting the bargaining should be accomplished in each of the different areas.
Sudbury shutdown operation Saturday night but Woodbine slot