workers at Caesars Windsor eager to get back to work – .

workers at Caesars Windsor eager to get back to work – .

WINDSOR, ONT. – While there is enthusiasm about the sports betting legislation making its way through Parliament, there are still many unknowns as to when Caesars will be able to reap the benefits – or open its doors.

The casino was closed for most of the pandemic except for a very limited number of people allowed to attend in the fall of 2020, which made life difficult for Mike and Heather O’Neil.

“It’s pretty much a ghost town,” says Mike O’Neil, who works in the maintenance division. After a two-week hiatus in March 2020, he works tirelessly on grounds maintenance with a few other workers.

“Take your temperature, fill out your papers, and I might not see another human until noon, so it’s definitely different from normal life here,” O’Neil said.

Mike’s wife, Heather O’Neil, is a table game dealer. She has been out of her job throughout the pandemic.

“We are at the door. We didn’t come back, ”she said. “We didn’t know it would last that long. We thought about it for a few weeks. About a month. But it’s hard, it’s hard to be at home.

Heather hit the Canada Emergency Benefit and unemployment. But for many reasons, she can’t wait to come back.

“It’s not just about missing a paycheck, it’s about missing your friends, customers and everything in between. It’s a camaraderie, ”she says.

The couple are represented by Unifor Local 444, along with 2,200 other unionized employees, who continued to receive their benefits throughout the shutdown.

” I wait. I need to be called back, ”says Heather.

When exactly it will be and what it will look like is a bit of a mystery.

As part of Ontario’s plan to reopen, casinos will be able to reopen to limited capacity in Stage 3 – slated for later in July.

The casino is awaiting further instructions from the province on reopening capacity and restrictions under Stage 3, according to Scott Jenkins, spokesperson for Caesars Windsor.

“We are well prepared with our health and safety protocols in place, to provide our staff with a safe and comfortable environment so that they can continue to do what they do best – providing the best service to our staff. valued customers, ”Jenkins said.

“We know it’s been a long road and we recognize how difficult it has been for all of our valued employees and their families,” Jenkins writes. “We hope that with the increase in vaccination rates and the decrease in the number of cases each day, we can soon reopen under stage 3 and we are delighted to welcome them again.”

Jenkins adds that there is a lot of excitement about the passage of Bill C-218, which is now on its way to the final stage of Royal Assent to become law.

“We are excited to be able to compete with Michigan and online in the single event sports arena. It’s been a long time coming and we are delighted to offer an exciting sports betting option to our valued guests and give them another compelling reason to choose Caesars, ”Jenkins said. “Single event sports betting is a competitive requirement to keep us on a level playing field with our competition. “

But for workers, there is more anticipation of coming back.

“With the number of cases going down, you just hope that when we finally open things can move faster than we think and who knows, maybe by the fall we will be back to normal, 24 24/7 ”Mike O’Neil.

“It’s hope anyway. ”


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