Atlantic City Casinos Agree on New Deals With Unite Here Local 54 Union to Avoid a Workers’ Strike

Five popular casinos in Atlantic City avoided a looming workers’ strike before the Independence Day holiday. The Unite Here Local 54 Union members stated that they would strike on the holiday weekend if they failed to reach an agreement with the region’s five major casino operators.

Hard Rock International, Caesars Entertainment, and MGM Resorts International signed lucrative deals with the workers union. But, much hasn’t been revealed about what they entail.

MGM Resorts and Caesars had up to July 1 to seal the deal or their workers would start striking. Yet, the casinos signed them on time thus preventing Borgata Casino, Caesars Casino, Harrah’s, and Caesars Tropicana from missing some employees.

Bob McDevitt, the union’s president said that the agreement is the best deal that it has ever had. The operators signed it in the evening and the official added that they considered each grievance that the union had. It had requested salary increases to help workers meet their basic needs despite the high inflation rates in the country and to continue recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City Accepts Casino Employees’ Demands

Hard Rock Casino almost had an acute shortage of employees before it agreed to their demands. They wanted the casino to sign other contractual agreements that the Local 54 of the Unite Here union in New Jersey led.

The union made the first major achievement on Thursday when it declared that it had signed a deal with Borgata, Harrah’s, Tropicana, and Caesars. Hard Rock’s casino workers stated that these are the biggest salary rises that they had seen in their careers.

The casino was the last major casino holding out. Some gaming operators weren’t sure if they would fulfill all their employees’ demands as the COVID-19 pandemic is still suppressing some operations.

Even so, striking employees would have been a major financial threat to them as they would have missed serving players on the July 4 holiday. Golden Nugget and Resorts were the only casinos that hadn’t reached an agreement with their staff before the holiday. But they might sign deals with them soon.

Still, some operators have opted not to handle the issue and leave the other Atlantic City casino to negotiate with their workers. Ocean Casino Resort and Bally’s stated that they would have a “me too” negotiation in which they would fulfill similar obligations to their staff as other casinos did.

Jim Allen, Hard Rock International’s Chairman, stated that the operator is glad to have reached a deal with Unite Here Local 54. He added that they are willing to strengthen their relationships at local and national levels as they broaden their brand.

The Casino Is Concentrating on the Tourist Season

Joe Lupo, Hard Rock Atlantic City’s President, stated that solving the issue has allowed the operator to focus on the state’s busiest tourism periods. Workers timed the potential strike well as they knew that casinos wouldn’t hesitate to sign the deals to reap from the tourist season.

Still, the gaming industry has a shortage of skilled employees as some of them have never returned since they resumed operations after the Coronavirus pandemic. The high cost of living has forced the workers to express their concerns to their employers.

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