Caesars Windsor, Unifor Local 444 negotiating new contract

CBC News Posted: Mar 04, 2014 7:34 AM ET
Last Updated: Mar 04, 2014 7:34 AM ET

Contract talks are underway between Caesars Windsor and the union representing 2,300 hourly employees.

Dino Chiodo, of Unifor Local 444, said the latest set of negotiations will be tough.

There have been several strikes since the casino opened in 1994.

Dino Chiodo said talks are concentrating on language and non-monetary issues at this stage. He said wages will eventually be a key issue.

Chiodo said it's too early to get a read on the talks overall right now.

"We had complications with Caesars Windsor going back to 1994 when it opened," Chiodo said. I think contract over contract we've had complications and I don't think that just goes away.

"The last set of bargaining has been a challenge for all of us. I think workers are expecting us to come to the pump and do what's necessary on their behalf to represent their needs."

A strike vote will be taken March 9 if a deal isn't reached.

The current contract expires in early April.

The casino is one of the city's biggest employers.

Management is after a new deal that keep costs in line, and the casino competitive.

"We're going to be open, honest and upfront with regards to what we can achieve and what we can't achieve, and in that regard, our members are going to have to make a decision whether they decide to ratify or not," Chiodo said. "And again, I think we're going to, as a bargaining committee, work toward a full endorsement with a commitment to get a tentative agreement that we're proud of."