Unite Here’s Local 54 President Bob McDevitt will step down as the union’s leader in Atlantic City, according to an Associated Press report. McDevitt has held the position for the past 26 years and had led the union in three strikes during his tenure.
McDevitt shared with the Associated Press Local 54’s missional focus and how the union has worked with gambling industry employees throughout the years.
He commented: "We represent people who traditionally have not been what you would consider high-wage workers — housekeepers, bartenders, cocktail servers, people who clean public areas.
"It's one thing to work as a waiter over the summer while you're in college; it's quite another to try to support yourself and a family on that. That's where we come in."
Former Hard Rock Atlantic City President Joe Lupo described McDevitt as someone who is “easy to get along with.”
He told the Associated Press: "I always enjoyed working with Bob, as he was very cooperative, direct, never minced words, but with a great sense of humor.
"More importantly, he was very passionate and genuinely cares for each member, always prioritizing their future and welfare first."
McDevitt’s most recent endeavor has been leading the union and its casino workers in a concentrated effort to legislate a statewide smoking ban in New Jersey’s casinos.
States like New Jersey have revisited possible casino-wide smoking bans after temporary bans during the Covid-19 pandemic were lifted in July 2021.
Since the ban was lifted, Atlantic City casino workers have pushed for permanent legislation that would prohibit smoking in casinos.
New Jersey State Governor Phil Murphy said he will sign a nonsmoking bill if the current proposal is passed.