Casino union unable to keep paying for health care benefits for its workers

Casinos in Atlantic City will reopen on Thursday, but not all casino workers will be going back to their jobs.

News 12 Staff

Jul 1, 2020, 10:35 PM

Updated 1,477 days ago

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Casinos in Atlantic City will reopen on Thursday, but not all casino workers will be going back to their jobs.
When the casinos reopen, patrons will not be allowed to smoke, drink or dine inside, and masks will be required.
Mineli Polanco was a waitress at the Borgata. She will not be going back to her job.
“I feel sad. I was ready to go back to work and I love my job and what I do,” she says.
The Borgata is owned by MGM, which announced that it is postponing the reopening indefinitely because of the no smoking, eating or drinking rule issued by Gov. Phil Murphy.
“If MGM doesn’t provide all of the things that the customer was used to receiving from us, I don’t think they’re just going to go and sit down and gamble. They need that service and the attention from us,” Polanco says.
Casino workers in Atlantic City say that they are most concerned about their health benefits. Unite Here 54, the union representing the workers, says that casinos haven’t been paying for health care benefits since the shutdown. The union has been paying for health care but announced on Wednesday that it will be unable to keep up that obligation, meaning health care benefits will expire at the end of September.
“I’m a mother of two kids. The uncertainty is really sad, it’s really depressing,” says Polanco.
Polanco says that she is hopeful that the governor will allow the workers to do their jobs in the near future so that MGM will allow the Borgata to open.
“We do understand the circumstances and we do understand that MGM wants to give that great customer service that we used to do. And I understand their point of view, but they need to understand as well that we need our health care benefits, we need our unemployment extension in the meantime, as well in order for us to keep surviving,” she says.
News 12 New Jersey will be in Atlantic City on Thursday as casinos reopen.
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