Atlantic City, NJ, Casino Workers Could Strike Over July 4th Weekend
Atlantic City casino workers are expected to authorize a strike against the gaming halls on Wednesday.
Unite Here Local 54 says a "yes" vote will not result in an immediate strike, but gives union leadership the right to call a strike at any or all of the 9 casinos.
Contracts expired two weeks ago and negotiations continue to reach a new agreement, however, it does not appear that a deal is imminent.
"We’ve been saying for some time now that casino workers need a real raise," Local 54 President Bob McDevitt said on Twitter. In the past, he has said those raises need to be "significant."
In May, the union released a study trying to bolster their position that casino workers sacrificed wage increases to help the industry survive the pandemic, but as revenues returned to pre-pandemic levels, wages have not kept pace.
On Twitter, the union stated their "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."
While it is true overall revenues have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, casinos argue most of that growth has come in the form of online gambling and sports betting. Casinos claim they only keep 30% of that revenue with the rest going to third-party partners.
Despite posturing from both sides, each remains optimistic a deal can be reached.
If talks break down, or the union believes not enough progress is being made, a walkout could be planned.
The Associated Press reports the most obvious date would be the July 4 holiday weekend, which is crucial to the casinos' business plans as one of the busiest times of the year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.