Strike is over!

The rancorous monthlong strike that pitted Local 54 against7 Atlantic City casinos is over. Given that the new contract is five years, rather than the three wanted by the union, I’d say this was a victory for the casinos, though of course everyone lost with the disruption of the strike. From CBS via AP:

The union representing about 10,000 striking bartenders, cocktail servers, housekeepers and other service employees approved the five-year deal late Monday. It calls for significant gains in wages and benefits and guards against the casinos’ practice of leasing space to non-union restaurants and bars.

“Given our starting point, we had thought we needed a three-year contract to reach those goals, but we achieved all that and more during the course of this strike,” said Robert McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union.

A vote by rank-and-file members was planned for Wednesday. Workers could be back on the job as early as Thursday, according to union officials.

The union went on strike Oct. 1 against seven of the city’s 12 casinos, turning operations in the 24-hour gambling halls upside down. While revenue figures for the month � quantifying the amount of lost business � have yet to be released, the strike was clearly bad for business.

About 10,000 casino workers � not including dealers � walked out at Harrah’s Atlantic City, Showboat Casino-Hotel, Resorts Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Tropicana Casino and Resort and the Atlantic City Hilton.
The main sticking point was the length of the contract. Union officials wanted a three-year deal whose expiration would coincide with contracts of sister unions in Las Vegas, Chicago and elsewhere.

Casino officials objected, fearing coinciding contract expirations would give the unions the power to shut down casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and other jurisdictions.

Under the agreement, the union said, members would get:
A 28.3 percent increase in the total “economic package” over five years, which includes boosts in wages and pension contributions.

Continuation of fully funded health care, sparing union members from having to contribute to their insurance through payroll deductions.

Protection of members and their union when a casino changes ownership.

N.J. Casino Workers Reach Deal | November 2, 2004�13:26:14

Hopefully, everyone can get back to work now, and there will be some peace and quiet around the hospital, which is adjacent to struck property Bally’s. Also, when I make my tour of AC casinos to snap picture of casino carpet, I’m not going to have to cross picket lines.

Spread the love