AC Casino Strike: UNITE HERE Local 54th union in talks with Atlantic City casinos as strike deadline approaches

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) – Union negotiators met with management at several Atlantic City casinos Wednesday in an effort to secure a new contract and avoid a suspended strike. threatened on Friday.

Unite Here’s 54 localities negotiated with representatives of Caesars Entertainment, which owns three of Atlantic City’s nine casinos: Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana.

The union has set a deadline of 12:01 a.m. Friday to reach a new labor agreement with those casinos and with Borgata, which is owned by MGM Resorts International.

“There’s a lot of room for us to gain momentum in the negotiations and go with that to reach an agreement,” said Bob McDevitt, president of the union. “This is when it’s really up to the companies. They know what our goals are.”

Iris Sanchez, a housekeeper at Caesar’s, says it’s annoying that they ask for a higher salary.

“I rented a two-bedroom apartment for $800, now a two-bedroom is $1,500. And the $16 an hour we make here isn’t enough,” Sanchez said.

SEE ALSO: Hotel staff at 5 Atlantic City casinos prepare to go on strike

Members of Unite Here Local 54 voted earlier this month to allow a strike against five casinos after their contracts expire on June 1.

Service workers are demanding higher pay and better working conditions.

Hard Rock has a strike deadline of Sunday, July 3.

Two casinos, Bally’s and Ocean, have reached so-called “me too” agreements with the union, pledging to accept the contractual terms that were eventually reached with the larger casinos.

The city’s last casino strike occurred in 2016, when a walkout against the Trump Taj Mahal resulted in its closure three months later. It has since been reopened under new ownership as Hard Rock.

The union has yet to negotiate with Resorts or Golden Nugget. McDevitt said it was not in danger of becoming the target of a layoff at this time, adding that once a contract is reached with the larger casinos, the union will approach Resorts and Golden Nugget.

SEE ALSO: Union: Strike could cost Atlantic City casinos $2.6 million a day

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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