The casino worker union in Atlantic City – Local 54 of Unite Here – managed to reach tentative agreements with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment to avoid a July 4th strike.
As revealed by representatives of the union, who have been seeking pay raises for their members, the tentative agreements with MGM Resorts’ Borgata Casino and Caesars Entertainment’s Tropicana, Harrah’s, and Caesars casinos would avoid the holiday weekend strikes that have been looming over the aforementioned properties, which currently employ approximately 4,500 unionized workers. Apart from that, the worker union had voted to authorize a possible strike on July 1st without a deal.
Unite Here Local 54 confirmed that its members got the required pay raise in a post on its official account on Twitter following the ending of the negotiations that took place inside the Palladium Ballroom on Caesars’ second floor. A spokesperson for the casino worker union, Rocco Mahoney, shared that the aforementioned deal would still have to be ratified by the membership but so far, no specific date was set.
The casino worker union also revealed that its negotiations with Hard Rock Casino, which had a July 3rd strike deadline, were to continue. Local 54 of Unite Here refused to provide any more details on the tentative agreement or the ongoing negotiations but, according to previous reports, it had been seeking significant paycheck raises with all of the gambling venues. Borgata was the first to agree to a settlement earlier on Thursday evening.
Not Reaching an Agreement Would Have Meant Serious Losses for Atlantic City Casinos
As CasinoGamesPro already reported, the contracts for the Local 54 union members expired on May 31st. Earlier this week, the 6,000 casino workers voted in favor of a July 1st strike deadline at the properties of MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. The Hard Rock Casino was placed under a July 3rd strike deadline.
The fact that the two parties managed to reach an agreement was a great solution to the ongoing disagreements, as gamblers have been pouring into the Atlantic City casino resorts ahead of the holiday weekend. If no such agreement was reached, there may have been serious disruptions in the casinos’ operations, which would eventually equal serious losses for the local gambling operators. According to preliminary estimates, the three casinos of Caesars Entertainment could have collectively lost a total of $1 million daily, while Borgata casino could have lost $1.6 million daily in the event of a strike.
Two of the four other casinos in Atlantic City – Ocean and Bally’s – have agreed to accept the terms negotiated and agreed with the other casinos, so they were not threatened by pending strike action. Local 54 of Unite Here had not started negotiations with two smaller properties – the Golden Nugget and Resorts – but they are currently not under a threat of a strike.
As previously reported, the worker union was seeking significant wage increases for its members at a time when the profits of the industry have been rising, and casino properties have been suffering a labor shortage. Representatives of the union workers have noted that many casino employees’ paychecks had not kept up with the constantly increasing living costs although there have been increases to the minimum wage.