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Employees of Five Atlantic City Casinos Set to Go on Strike
- June 20, 2016 By Oliver Young -
It has just been announced that casino workers who work at five different casinos in Atlantic City will go on strike. This is not the first time in the past few years when strike was considered as an option for casino workers in Atlantic City, although this time it is inevitable.
After it has been reported that the total gaming revenue in New Jersey dropped by a bit, it has now been made public that casino workers will strike against their employers on July 1 2016, after UNITE HERE union members voted in favour of the strike.
Problems for the Atlantic City Casino Industry
UNITE HERE is one of the largest workers’ unions in the US and Canada with over 265,000 active members. Thousands of union members voted on the proposed decision for a strike and more than 95% were in favour of the strike. The turnout and the results of the vote clearly express the will of the workers to resort to this last measure in order to improve their position.
The employees of Caesars, Bally’s, Harrah’s, Tropicana and Trump Taj Mahal will go on strike on July 1. These 5 casinos are owned by two equity firms. Carl Icahn, a wealthy entrepreneur owns Taj Mahal and most of Tropicana, whereas the three other casinos are owned by Apollo Group. Unlike them, employees of Golden Nugget, Borgata and Resorts, the 3 other casinos in Atlantic City, will not be on strike as the union made progress in negotiation process with the owners.
The Atlantic City casino industry has been struggling to revitalise from the blow when it lost four casinos back in 2014. Even though the trend hasn’t been negative, it is more than clear that this is not a good period for the industry and the city is struggling to fill the $100 million budget gap.
Furthermore, it seems like there’s only bad news for the Atlantic City casino industry this year. Namely, it was revealed that New Jersey regulators passed an act which will allow the opening of two casinos in Northern New Jersey which will be a serious competition for Atlantic City. The citizens will have a chance to decide this via a plebiscite which is scheduled for November 2016.
Unions and Management with a Different View of the Situation
The local president of the workers’ union claimed that it is only fair for casinos to offer new contracts to their employers, as the employers gave up some of their rights and earnings in 2011 in order to help the industry which was struggling. He also stated that the gambling industry is recovering nowadays.
However, the president of one of the companies which owns a casino in Atlantic City – Tropicana, stated that the operator invested a large sum of money since 2011, a total of $160 million and that the casino’s employees have already benefited from increased salaries and, more importantly kept their jobs, unlike the workers who were employed by the four other casinos that went bankrupt 2 years ago. Another casino president stated that the main goal of his organisation will be to secure a fair solution for both the workers and the management, so that the industry won’t suffer anymore.