As the July 1 deadline loomed, 4,500 Atlantic City casino employees reached a deal late Thursday to prevent a strike. Local 54, of the Unite Here union, came to terms on new contracts with four of the Atlantic City, NJ casinos, providing a peaceful Fourth of July weekend.
The MGM-owned Borgata, as well as Caesars Entertainment’s Caesars, Harrah’s, and the Tropicana, all secured agreements before Friday’s deadline.
The Hard Rock features a different strike cutoff of Sunday, July 3, but this news is likely to also move that one along.
The announcement stops the first strike from happening in AC since 2016, when health care and pension issues arose at the former Trump Taj Mahal.
Besides averting conflict, the deal reportedly includes “historic” raises for workers, something the union sought during these difficult times.
NJ casinos avoid labor dispute
There were only a few hours left on the clock when union workers in AC agreed to preliminary terms of a new contract. While the deal’s exact details must still release, union president Bob McDevitt didn’t hold back his excitement. According to the Associated Press, he said:
“This is the best contract we’ve ever had. We got everything we wanted and everything we needed. The workers delivered a contract that they can be proud of for years to come.”
This is highly beneficial for casino employees who pushed for sizable wage increases. Hopefully the additional funds give some assistance in handling the inflated prices everywhere you look.
Caesars Entertainment released a statement on Friday explaining its “commitment to the community.” The operator stated:
“Under the proposed agreement, our 3,500 Unite Here team members will see historic wage increases and evidence that they are heard, that when issues arise, they are taken seriously and addressed. The Fourth of July holiday weekend historically marks the beginning of our busiest season. We are optimistic, knowing we go into it with a landmark agreement clearly demonstrating our commitment to reinvest in our valued team members and ensuring we are poised to deliver extraordinary service and experiences for the 2022 summer season.”
Although everything appears set, there is still a need for a ratification vote from all union members. That said, there shouldn’t be any other issues going forward.
Atlantic City casino workers celebrate success
Ronnette Lark, a Harrah’s employee, also showed her enthusiasm for the latest agreement. Lark said:
“I’m super excited. I’ve been here 24 years and we’ve never gotten a raise like this. We got big raises.”
The Garden State’s overall gaming revenue growth helped provide more for workers. It hit $1.8 billion through five months in 2022, an increase of more than 49% from the same time frame before the coronavirus in 2019.
The Hard Rock and its personnel still have some time before its deadline on Sunday. Strike pay signup starts this weekend, in front of the building, on the AC Boardwalk.