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Workers locked out at Woodbine Racetrack after contract negotiations break down

Some of the lowest paid workers at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack after contract negotiations suddenly broke down.

President of Unite Here Local 75 Paul Clifford says the company made an offer at 1:30 AM on Saturday, and workers were told that not accepting it would result in a lockout at 6 AM.

The union had hoped to take the offer to its 329 food service and hospitality workers for a vote on Monday, but Clifford said the company still decided to go ahead with the lockout.

Most of these employees earn approximately $15 per hour, and some have been employed at Woodbine for as long as 25 years.

Vice President of Corporate Affairs Jane Holmes says the company believes the offer was “reasonable and consistent” with agreements they reached with three different groups in the past.

Clifford said the issues on the bargaining table concerned benefits for part-time workers, an employer-subsidy for TTC passes, and paid personal holidays.

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