Woodbine Slot Machine Workers Set to Return to Work

Publish: 09.08.2017

It’s been since 14 July that Woodbine racetrack slot machine workers have been off their jobs.

Contract Concerns

More than 400 staff members at Ontario racetrack’s largest gaming floor have been out of their works after the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union representing the workers and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) failed to agree to a new contract.

The lack of regular service at slot machines resulted in the electronic poker room is closed, whereas the onsite shuttle hasn’t been running as well. What is more, the most recent issue also forced the reduction of services at the coat check with temporary workers running the slot machines during the course of the dispute.

After almost a month out of their jobs, Woodbine slot machine workers now look set to vote on a new contract hoping the issues have been resolved. Unpredictable schedules have been the main stumbling point in a contract proposal as workers asked for fairer scheduling, especially for part-time workers.

Wages, Benefits, Scheduling

The previous scheduling system made it extremely hard for workers to plan for child care or support elderly parents.

Additionally, wages and benefits were also some of the biggest bumps on the road to an agreement during the contract negotiations. Workers have also expressed their frustrations as to how government seemed to ignore their concerns, having in mind that Ontario is currently exploring options to change employment laws in order to help tackle unwarranted work.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation plans to hire outside companies to run operations at its gaming facilities, copying the system successfully applied in Belleville, Gananoque and Fraserville.

The Woodbine workers have in the meantime been worried about how a new operator could impact their pensions as OLG narrows the choice for the Ontario racetrack.

Three companies were believed to be eyed as potential candidates.