Unifor worker hit by car on picket line at Woodbine; strike at Pickering, Ajax casinos in week 2

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Published August 2, 2022 at 9:45 am

A Unifor member of Local 1090 on a picket line at Casino Woodbine was struck by a car late Sunday evening.

A spokesman for Unifor, which represents 800 workers at casinos in Pickering and Ajax who have been on strike for more than a week, say the accident was no accident and are calling “deliberate.”

Members of Unifor Local 1090 have been on strike at Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s Pickering Casino Resort and Ajax Casino since Saturday, July 23. The union is fighting for wage increases at the casinos to match what Great Canadian Gaming is paying workers at Casino Woodbine, and to reduce the employer’s reliance on its part-time workforce.

The two sides met Saturday morning but negotiations broke down early.

“Our members, workers at Pickering Casino and their other properties, are fighting for equality with workers at other casinos,” said Lana Payne, Unifor’s national secretary-treasurer. “They are looking for fairness and Unifor is with them in this struggle.”

In Canada, workers locked out or on strike may picket other sites owned by the employer, which is why a legal picket line was in place at Casino Woodbine.

The Unifor member was brought to hospital in an ambulance and has suffered a contusion requiring stitches and a broken ankle. He is recovering at home.

According to Unifor, the employer’s contract security officials initially refused to co-operate with police by turning over video of a vehicular assault.

Picket lines remain “dangerous places” for workers, Unifor said on their website, noting that many Unifor members have been injured on picket lines over the years. “This must end—workers have a right to be safe at work and a right to free expression.”

Unifor is calling on Great Canadian Casino Corporation to condemn the vehicular assault on its employee and encourage customers to be patient during the labour dispute.

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