Friday strike deadline looms for 4 Atlantic City casinos

Jun 29, 2022, 9:03 AM | Updated: Jun 30, 2022, 7:06 am
Union members picket outside the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City N.J. on June 1, 2022. The main c...

Union members picket outside the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City N.J. on June 1, 2022. The main casino workers union is threatening a strike against at least 5 casinos in July if new contracts are not reached by then, and on Wednesday, June 22, the City Council of Atlantic City called on the casinos to avert a strike by paying workers more and hiring more of them. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

              Union members picket outside the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City N.J. on June 1, 2022. The main casino workers union is threatening a strike against at least 5 casinos in July if new contracts are not reached by then, and on Wednesday,  June 22, the City Council of Atlantic City called on the casinos to avert a strike by paying workers more and hiring more of them. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
            
              Members of Local 54 of the Unite Here casino workers union picket outside the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, N.J., on June 1, 2022. On June 24, 2022, the union issued a report estimating that four casinos including the Tropicana could lose $2.6 million a day in the event of a strike, which has been threatened for July 1 if a new contract is not reached by then. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
            
              Union members picket outside the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City N.J. on June 1, 2022. The main casino workers union is threatening a strike against at least 5 casinos in July if new contracts are not reached by then, and on Wednesday,  June 22, the City Council of Atlantic City called on the casinos to avert a strike by paying workers more and hiring more of them. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Union negotiators and casino management tried Thursday to reach new contracts that would avoid a costly and disruptive strike during one of Atlantic City’s busiest weekends.

Local 54 of the Unite Here union has set a 12:01 a.m. Friday deadline to reach a new agreement with the Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana. If not, it has authorized a strike against those properties.

And a fifth casino, the Hard Rock, faces a similar deadline early Sunday.

Even if the union does go on strike, the casinos and their hotels will remain open for business; staffing levels and the quality of service could vary greatly depending on many variables.

The union was due to resume negotiations with MGM Resorts International, which owns the Borgata, Thursday morning.

It negotiated with Caesars Entertainment, which owns three casinos — Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana — for hours on Wednesday without reaching a new deal, and was to resume bargaining with that company Thursday as well.

The union has said it is seeking “significant” salary increases in new contracts to help workers keep pace with rapidly rising prices for gasoline, food, rent and other expenses.

Individual workers also say they helped keep the casinos open and running for most of the coronavirus pandemic, now in its third year, and deserve to be compensated for it.

Two casinos, Bally’s and Ocean, have reached “me-too” agreements with the union, in which they commit to adopting the terms of contracts eventually reached with larger properties in the city, and will not face a walkout.

Likewise, union president Bob McDevitt said that two smaller casinos, Resorts and the Golden Nugget, are not at risk of a labor stoppage for the time being, as the union has yet to negotiate with them.

___

Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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Friday strike deadline looms for 4 Atlantic City casinos