The Unite Here Local 54 union has given the green light to a strike next month if new wage contracts are not reached by the beginning of July. According to Local 54’s President, Bob McDevitt, nearly 96% of the union’s members pulled the lever in favor of the authorized strike.
The union said that it seeks substantial wage increases for its workers due to ongoing financial hardship resulting from the pandemic and because prices are on the rise.
Workers from the Borgata and from three of Caesars Entertainment’s casinos – including the Caesars, Harrah’s and Tropicana – are prepared to walk out if an agreement cannot be reached.
Ruth Ann Joyce, a bartender who works for both Harrah’s and Hard Rock casinos, said the union is taking a stand to help casino workers in all areas of the facility.
Joyce commented: “We are fighting for economics across the board, for all job classifications.
“Historically our fights in general have dealt with health care. This go-round, it’s about economics. We can’t find workers because there’s no money, and it’s hard to hold onto the workers we do have because they can go somewhere else and make more.”
Rodney Mills, a housekeeper at Tropicana, agreed with Joyce and said he is also ready to walk out if the union initiates the strike.
“Things are really hard right now,” Mills said. “We need a livable wage to survive.”
A strike against Hard Rock is also in the works for July 3.
McDevitt spoke to a ballroom of union members after the vote. He said: “The industry better not take this lightly. This is a no (B.S.) thing.”
Contracts expired almost two weeks ago. However, neither side has been able to reach an agreement. Though the vote to strike has overwhelmingly passed, it does not mean the strike will happen immediately.
No comments were offered by any Caesars Enterainment or Hard Rock representatives.