Contracts expired, casino workers union to picket Atlantic City's Tropicana

Unable to reach new contracts with the Atlantic City casinos, the city's main casino workers union will begin picketing outside one of them Wednesday.

Associated Press

May 31, 2022, 11:36 PM

Updated 784 days ago

Share:

Contracts expired, casino workers union to picket Atlantic City's Tropicana
Unable to reach new contracts with the Atlantic City casinos, the city's main casino workers union will begin picketing outside one of them Wednesday.
Local 54 of the Unite Here union said Tuesday its members will form a picket line on the Boardwalk in front of the Tropicana casino Wednesday evening.
Contracts with the nine Atlantic City casinos were set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, and by midday Tuesday it was clear that no breakthrough was likely to happen in talks with two of the largest casino companies: Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars, Harrah's and Tropicana, and MGM Resorts International, which owns the city's leading property, the Borgata.
“We're looking forward to our action Wednesday night,” said union president Bob McDevitt. “We have a long way to go before we get a contract. We're not far enough down the road for me to give you any kind of a prediction yet.”
MGM declined comment; representatives of Caesars did not respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday.
The union's members would have to vote on whether to authorize a strike before a walkout could occur. McDevitt said such a vote has not yet been scheduled.
The union went on strike in 2004 for 34 days, and walked out against the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in July 2016, which ended with the casino shutting down in October of that year. It has since reopened under different ownership as the Hard Rock.
The union has been negotiating for over a month, seeking what it termed “significant” pay raises in a new deal, though it has not publicly specified the percentage increase it is seeking.
The goal is to keep workers from falling behind in an economy where labor shortages are increasing salaries in other industries, yet inflation is eating away at consumers’ purchasing power.
The emphasis on higher wages represents a switch for the union, which over the decades has prioritized comprehensive health insurance and pensions over big pay raises.
McDevitt said the casino industry is showing strength in the third year of the pandemic, aided by strong performances in the internet gambling and sports betting industries. Last year, according to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the casinos won over $4.2 billion in combined casino, online and sports betting revenue.
But casino executives have long said the online and sports betting revenue streams are not what they seem because the casinos only keep about 30% of that money, with the rest going to third-party providers.
They argue that money won from in-person gamblers on their premises is a truer indication of the health of the industry. Last year’s in-person revenue figure was $2.5 billion, which is below the level of 2019, before the pandemic hit.
Earlier this month the union released a survey of 1,934 of its members that showed 61% reported struggling to pay their rent or mortgage on time in the past year; 32% reported they lacked money for food, 37% lacked enough for for utilities, and 27% for transportation.
On its Facebook page, the union posted testimonials from workers who say they are working harder yet falling behind. Teresa Lopez, who works at Caesars, said, “We clean more check-outs each shift with less housekeepers. I'm working six days a week with mandatory overtime.
“Enough is enough,” she said. “We deserve better. The casinos are making their money; now it's our turn.”
By WAYNE PARRY
Associated Press


More from News 12
2:34
STORM WATCH: Mostly cloudy today with steady batch of rain for New Jersey

STORM WATCH: Mostly cloudy today with steady batch of rain for New Jersey

2:11
Newark Liberty International Airport travelers still impacted by worldwide outage days later

Newark Liberty International Airport travelers still impacted by worldwide outage days later

0:31
Prosecutors: Palisades Park police officer arrested for assaulting woman multiple times, child endangerment

Prosecutors: Palisades Park police officer arrested for assaulting woman multiple times, child endangerment

0:27
Wiers Farm recalls multiple vegetables, bagged salad due to listeria concerns

Wiers Farm recalls multiple vegetables, bagged salad due to listeria concerns

0:20
Ewing woman sues Wawa after falling in open parking lot manhole

Ewing woman sues Wawa after falling in open parking lot manhole

1:25
Source: Pedestrian killed in East Orange during police chase involving stolen vehicle

Source: Pedestrian killed in East Orange during police chase involving stolen vehicle

0:37
Officials: Water safe to drink following firefighting efforts along Route 3 in Clifton

Officials: Water safe to drink following firefighting efforts along Route 3 in Clifton

4:23
Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

Sen. Bob Menendez to resign from office Aug. 20 following corruption conviction

2:06
Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

Union City residents react to news Sen. Menendez is resigning

2:08
Toms River cuts Silverton EMS services, citing ‘financial irregularities’

Toms River cuts Silverton EMS services, citing ‘financial irregularities’

0:48
Jersey Proud: Servicemen compete at Joint Base for chance to be on national swim team

Jersey Proud: Servicemen compete at Joint Base for chance to be on national swim team

1:47
Global tech outage still impacting travelers at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport

Global tech outage still impacting travelers at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport

0:22
Prosecutor: Man sentenced to 40 years for series of attacks on Orthodox Jewish community

Prosecutor: Man sentenced to 40 years for series of attacks on Orthodox Jewish community

1:44
'Everything is ruined.' Clifton residents near Route 3 fatal crash site raise concerns over spilled chemicals

'Everything is ruined.' Clifton residents near Route 3 fatal crash site raise concerns over spilled chemicals

3:02
Could the Philadelphia 76ers be considering a move to New Jersey?

Could the Philadelphia 76ers be considering a move to New Jersey?

0:44
3 shelter dogs to be trained to be companions for veterans

3 shelter dogs to be trained to be companions for veterans

1:18
Monmouth University lockdown prompted by threatening email lifted

Monmouth University lockdown prompted by threatening email lifted

0:31
Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

Son finds his mom stabbed to death in their Edison home; suspect charged with murder

0:43
Secret Service director steps down after assassination attempt against ex-President Trump at rally

Secret Service director steps down after assassination attempt against ex-President Trump at rally

0:20
Health officials: West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis detected in Cape May County

Health officials: West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis detected in Cape May County