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McGuinty closes Ontario raceway slots leaving hundreds unemployed

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Slot machine facilities at Windsor Raceway, Fort Erie and Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia are being permanently closed at the end of March, 2012, leaving hundreds without jobs.

215 jobs have been eliminated at Windsor Raceway’s slots including those of 31 security guards belonging to OPSEU Local 111. Workers were given just over two weeks’ notice of the closure.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation issued a report on March 12, 2012 entitled “Modernizing Lottery and Gaming in Ontario” detailing its intention to substantially expand privatization of lotteries and gaming in the province.

“Privatizing Ontario’s gaming facilities will be devastating to Ontario’s most vulnerable communities,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “McGuinty is eliminating gaming jobs in Windsor, Fort Erie and Sarnia, but this is just the beginning. His plan is an assault on rural Ontario.”

“The Ontario government needs to address its revenue problem by implementing a fair and progressive tax system,” said Thomas. “Cutting jobs does not help our province’s bottom line.”

All slot machines at racetracks will be closed by March 31, 2013, leaving many more unemployed. As many as 60,000 jobs in the gaming industry could be threatened by the planned restructuring and privatization.

Workers in Sarnia, Windsor, and Fort Erie are attending meetings with management regarding planned closures leaving facilities temporarily closed to the public for 24 hours until Thursday, March 15 at 9 a.m. EST.

OPSEU workers at Windsor Raceway slots will meet with management to negotiate a closure agreement.

More information:

Marisa Forsythe, OPSEU Staff Representative: 519 982 9452 Emily Visser, OPSEU Communications (Bilingual): 416-557-7936