AC casino workers vote to strike

AC casino workers vote to strike

Friday, June 17, 2016
The resort has faced a number of difficulties in recent years

Casino workers from five of Atlantic City’s eight gaming properties have voted to go on strike next month.

Members of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union voted Thursday to authorize a strike against Bally's, Caesars, Harrah's and the Tropicana. The union had already authorized a strike against the Trump Taj Mahal.

The industrial action is due to take place on July 1, with the union saying that workers made painful sacrifices that need to be reversed now that Atlantic City's casinos are regaining their financial footing.

A spokesman said several thousand workers cast ballots, which were 96 percent in favour of a strike. The remaining three casinos— Borgata, Golden Nugget and Resorts — have been given an indefinite extension by the union, which says talks with them have been making progress.

"To me the most insulting thing is that in 2011 this union gave up part of its package to help the casinos when they were struggling," union president Bob McDevitt said.

"These five employers clearly are not in touch with what their employees are feeling," McDevitt said. "What is happening at the table is an insult. The day before a strike vote, Tropicana offered a five-year wage freeze. The day before!"

Tony Rodio, president of Tropicana Entertainment, which runs the Tropicana and the Taj Mahal, said the company has invested heavily in the property since 2011.

"Our employees have benefited from increased hours, increased gratuities and job security while 33 per cent of the market's 12 casinos have been forced to close and thousands have lost their jobs," he said. "It should also be noted that since emerging from bankruptcy in 2010, current ownership has not withdrawn one penny of investment from Tropicana Atlantic City while continuing to risk millions in an uncertain market."

TotallyGaming.com says: “The vote comes at a precarious point for Atlantic City as it begins to stabilise from the loss of four of its 12 casinos in 2014, grapples with a budget shortfall and the prospect of in-state competition from two proposed casinos in the northern part of the state.” 

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