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Local 54 of UNITE-HERE Negotiates New Employee Contract With Four Atlantic City Casinos

The employees union representing 15,000 Atlantic City casino and hotel employees approved a new contract on September 28th, 2009 with four casino facilities, providing raises for most workers and guaranteeing that employment benefits would not cut.

Union president Robert McDevitt said that Local 54 of UNITE-HERE, which brought the US' 2nd biggest gaming resort to its knees with a thirty-four day strike 5 years ago, approved the new 2-year agreement by a ninety-seven percent margin. The agreement calls for hourly increases of thirty-five cents to $1 for all but the highest-paid employees.

Those workers will be able to negotiate for salary raises annually from now on. He said that the most important thing is that health care benefits are in place. The agreement affects Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Bally's Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino Hotel. But it is widely expected to become the blueprint for agreements with the remaining 6 casino facilities that are not yet under contract.

McDevitt stated that the union has no interest in negotiating changes now that they have an approved contract. But he said that the committee responsible for the negotiations was careful to ask for an agreement that would be acceptable to all eleven Atlantic City casinos. The union has a contract in place with the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa.

McDevitt said that Trump Entertainment Resorts, which has 3 casino facilities in Atlantic City and is operating under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is reviewing the agreement reached with the 4 Harrah's Entertainment Incorporated casinos.

In his praise of the agreement, the Eastern Division president of Harrah's, Don Marrandino, appeared to point indirectly to bitter negotiations with the United Auto Workers (UAW) involving casino dealers, which have been reduced into an expensive fight that is scaring away players.

2 and ½ years after the union won representation elections at four casinos in Atlantic City, it has yet to sign an agreement with any of them. Marrandino said that Harrah's Entertainment is proud of its reputation as a responsible union partner as further shown by this agreement wich was made and agreed upon in just a few weeks and without any effect to business and casino employees.


10/04/2009 22:35 PM


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