New contracts for casino workers include pension improvements

Unifor members employed by three Ontario casinos have voted to ratify new three-year contracts that include improvements to their pension plans.

Unifor members from Local 1090 at Casino Ajax and Great Blue Heron Casino, as well as Local 504 at Elements Casino Brantford, voted to accept a tentative agreement, which includes a one per cent increase to the employer contribution that must be matched by a mandatory one per cent contribution from employees.

Read: Unionized Bombardier staff secure pension, dental benefits improvements

Members of Unifor Local 1403 who work at Canadian Kraft Paper have also voted to ratify a new three-year agreement, which includes improved paramedical benefits and bereavement leave.

In 2016, the mill’s former owner Tolko announced its closure when it couldn’t find a buyer. The owners and union were approached by a U.S.-based company, which bought the mill on condition that workers took a 10 per cent wage rollback, according to the release. The new contract includes a signing bonus and two per cent pay increases in each of the years of the new contact.

The province also approved a three-year moratorium on special payments to the pension plan as part of the sale. 

“Thanks to the hard work of Unifor members, the CKP mill is successful and critical to the economy of this region,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor’s national president, in a press release. “CKP is a great example of how unions, employers and government can work together to help rural economies thrive.”