Caesars Windsor to reopen Thursday after labor dispute

Breanna Noble
The Detroit News
Caesars Windsor will reopen June 7 following a labor dispute that lasted about two months.

After a nearly two-month closure, a labor dispute at Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino has been resolved and will reopen Thursday morning.

Unifor 444 union members voted Monday to ratify the agreement reached between union leadership and Caesars Windsor with 75 percent support. Two previous agreements were voted down.

The union’s president, David Cassidy, told The Detroit News that union demands for a shorter contract, larger bonuses, and stronger language to defend casino employees from outsourcing and department eliminations extended negotiations.

“It’s been very trying and difficult, but we were able to finalize a deal,” Cassidy said. “We’re the best in the industry. Our workers are the best. Caesars are the brand, but our workers make that Caesars brand.”

The venue, which had been forced to cancel reservations and performances during the 60-day dispute with Unifor Local 444, plans to reopen to the public 11 a.m. Thursday.

"Amenities, including all restaurants and the box office will resume their regular hours upon reopening," the statement said.

Caesars Windsor did not respond to requests from comment for press.

Casino officials said hotel reservations are available online immediately at Call-in phone reservations are available starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Any reservations that were canceled during the closure must be rebooked and subject to availability, the casino said. 

The work stoppage began April 5.

Last month, unionized workers at the casino rejected a four-year tentative labor contract with the casino's management. The parties used a provincial mediator for the second contract.

Compared to the original four-year contract, the three-year agreement increased base wage rates, moving 25 cents per hour from the third-year base to the second-year. The final increases total to $1,500, $1,500 and $500 per year respectively.

Additionally, Caesars Windsor consented to increasing signing bonuses from $1,150 to $1,600 for full-time, $900 to $1,200 for part-time, and $500 to $675 for casual employees.

Cassidy said the negotiations also strengthened the contract’s wording against outsourcing work and eliminating departments. The new agreement makes more weekends available for employee vacations, too.

Unifor 444 represents 1,345 full-time workers and 567 part-time employees at Caesars Windsor.

Here are a list of rescheduled shows. Previously purchased tickets will be honored on the new dates: 

·   Pitbull: June 23, 9 pm

·   David Foster: Aug. 3, 8 pm

·   Cole Swindell: Aug. 9, 9 pm

·   Darcy Oake: Aug. 16, 3 pm & 8 pm

·   Lee Brice: Aug. 31, 9 pm

·   Johnny Reid: Sept. 15, 8 pm (Glass Tiger will not be performing as previously scheduled)

·   Blink-182: Sept. 18, 9 pm

·   Buddy Guy: Oct. 3, 9 pm

·   Terry Fator: Nov. 17, 9 pm

·   Brian Wilson: Nov. 25, 9 pm

The Russell Peters and Daniel O’Donnell shows have not yet been rescheduled.