Turmoil is brewing as casino workers in Atlantic City prepare to protest. The laborers warned casino goers that demonstrations might take place at the city’s gambling venues.
Local 54 Is Serious about Its Demands
The casino employees are working together as part of Local 54, an affiliate of UNITE HERE that represents hospitality workers. They demand new employee contracts by the end of the month, lest there be demonstrations.
Local 54 warned that if its demands are not heard, the normal work of casinos in Atlantic City might be disrupted. The union addressed casino players, telling them that they might stumble across potential labor disputes at the venues.
According to the organization, its members might stage walkouts and marches, which, in turn, might disrupt travel. Local 54’s president, Bob McDevitt, spoke on the matter, saying that this is not a threat. Instead, the union wants to demonstrate that it is very serious about its demands.
We’re not threatening anybody, but we’re very serious about leveraging whatever we need to leverage to get our members a good contract.
Bob McDevitt, president, Local 54
Changes in the Economy Make Higher Salaries a Priority
Atlantic City’s casino workers want increased salaries as the sector recovers from the pandemic. Employees suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic when business wasn’t going well and venues were forced to either close or work at a limited capacity. Additionally, global inflation has affected the workers’ lifestyles, which is yet another problem they currently face.
Since casinos reopened, the industry has been steadily recovering but paychecks have not been high enough to satisfy the employees. Local 54 asks for a raise in the casino employee’s salaries so that they can mitigate the damage caused by the pandemic.
Local 54’s demands come as the gambling sector in the US rebinds from the COVID-19 hurdles. Right now, many states are posting record-high Q1 gross gaming revenues. In the light of this fact, workers’ demands are increasingly loud. Furthermore, the global gambling industry is currently experiencing a devastating labor shortage, which is yet another thing that the labor union pointed out. A November survey demonstrated that countless companies are struggling to deal with the lack of qualified manpower.
Negotiations between Local 54 and Atlantic City’s casinos continue. Right now, the labor union discusses its terms with nine casinos. It is still unknown whether the companies will hear their workers’ demands.
On a separate note, protests against cigarettes in casinos also continue. Many parties, including politicians, casino workers and anti-smoking activists have appealed for a total ban on smoking in the city’s gambling venues.