Casino Workers Ratify Contract with Historic Wage Increases by 99%, while Others Prepare for Strike Authorization Vote
Casino Workers say, “we’re not finished until we ALL win the raises we deserve!”
Atlantic City—While workers at five casinos voted 99% “yes” on Monday to ratify new agreements reached with their employers, the worker negotiating committee at Resorts and Golden Nugget casinos announced a Strike Authorization Vote for July 19. As their contracts expire, casino workers across the city have been fighting for significant wage increases, better housekeeping workload standards and job protections. More than 6,000 casino workers at Hard Rock, MGM-operated Borgata, and Caesars Entertainment-operated Caesars, Harrah’s, and Tropicana are covered by the newly ratified agreements, with an additional 3,000 workers covered by prior agreements signed at Bally’s and Ocean casinos.
Around 1,000 workers at Resorts and Golden Nugget casinos remain without new agreements with their employers. The worker negotiating committee plans to present the new agreements to their employers, asking them to accept the terms already agreed to by their competitors. They also called for a Strike Authorization Vote to take place on July 19, if their employers do not agree to the new citywide standard of wages and working conditions.
The historic four-year agreements ratified Monday provide for substantial wage increases for all classifications, including both tipped and non-tipped employees, retroactive to June 1. “Casino workers have needed raises for a long time,” said Dave Dorfman, cook at Harrah’s and member of the worker negotiating committee. “Now there is an easier way forward for us and the money will go a long way towards affording my daily expenses. Next, we need to make sure that Resorts and Golden Nugget workers don’t get left behind.”
Tipped employees also received substantial wage increases in the new agreements. “I’m so excited about this victory!” said Borgata food server Nikki Schwendeman. “This is a well-deserved raise for servers in our industry, and it’s going to make our lives so much easier over the next couple of years. Now it’s time to make sure workers at Resorts and Golden Nugget win the same.”
In addition to raises, the agreements maintain fully funded family healthcare and pension, language that protects jobs and increases work opportunities, and new technology protections. Improvements to housekeeping workloads are also secured: “Our new contract ensures that hotel rooms at Caesars casinos will automatically be cleaned every day,” said Iris Sanchez, a housekeeper at Caesars for 10 years. “With these new cleaning provisions, I’m proud to say that we can maintain Atlantic City as the world-class destination guests expect and deserve.”
With this positive ratification vote behind them, workers now pivot to ensuring Resorts and Golden Nugget casinos sign the same agreements. “We’re thrilled with what the workers were able to win at the other casinos,” said Chen Chan, who works in the Housekeeping Department at Resorts. “And we’re looking forward to the day when we can ratify the same.”
Contact Rocco Mahoney, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-457-2727
UNITE HERE Local 54 Atlantic City has been representing hospitality workers in the hospitality industry for over 100 years. Our members work as housekeepers, bartenders, cocktail servers, cooks, bellmen, doormen, and other service jobs in the casinos and hospitality industry of South Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. With over 10,000 members, Local 54 is the largest private sector union in the region. Local 54 is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international labor union that represents 300,000 working people across North America.