4 Atlantic Metropolis casinos attain take care of union, avert strike

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The principle union for Atlantic Metropolis on line casino employees reached agreements on new contracts with 4 casinos on Thursday, offering for what one employee known as “huge raises” and labor peace that can keep away from a strike on Fourth of July weekend, one of many casinos’ busiest of the 12 months.

Native 54 of the Unite Right here union reached tentative agreements with the Borgata, which is owned by MGM Resorts Worldwide, and three Caesars Leisure casinos: Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana.

A Sunday strike deadline stays towards the Exhausting Rock on line casino, however the brand new pacts seem to enormously improve the chance of a deal getting performed with Exhausting Rock as effectively.

“I’m tremendous excited,” stated Ronnette Lark, a housekeeper at Harrah’s. “I’ve been right here 24 years and we’ve by no means gotten a increase like this. We obtained huge raises.”

The union didn’t reveal the phrases of the settlement, saying they have to be offered to the complete union membership and ratified earlier than taking impact. However it stated it had been looking for “vital” raises to assist workers hold tempo with rising prices.

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The settlements come at a vital time for Atlantic Metropolis and its on line casino trade, which is striving to get better from losses brought on by the pandemic and exacerbated by inflation and a labor scarcity.

But those self same elements have been the driving pressure behind the union looking for a a lot bigger increase than it had in previous years; the precise quantity has not been made public. In previous contracts, the union focused on preserving well being care and pension advantages, however this time sought what it termed “vital” raises for employees to assist them hold tempo with spiraling costs for gasoline, meals, hire and different residing bills.

The offers averted what would have been town’s first on line casino strike since 2016, when the union rejected calls for by billionaire Carl Icahn that the Trump Taj Mahal on line casino function with out well being care and pension advantages that have been terminated by a chapter court docket.

The union went on strike on July 1, and the on line casino shut down on Oct. 10. It was bought months later to Exhausting Rock Worldwide, which gutted it and reopened it as the brand new Exhausting Rock Atlantic Metropolis in June 2018.

The funds underlying the present dispute are complicated.

Together with web playing and sports activities betting income, the casinos and their on-line companions have received $1.8 billion over the primary 5 months of this 12 months. That’s up greater than 49% from the identical interval in 2019, earlier than the coronavirus hit.

However the casinos declare these figures are deceptive as a result of third-party companions hold about 70% of web and sports activities betting income, leaving little for the brick-and-mortar casinos.

They are saying a extra correct metric is cash received from in-person gamblers. By that measure, the casinos have received solely 5% greater than they did from in-person gamblers over the primary 5 months of 2019. Solely three casinos — Borgata, Exhausting Rock and Ocean — have received extra from in-person gamblers in that timeframe.

Comply with Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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