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Atlantic City Casinos, Unions Enjoy Close Working Relationship

1 April 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union may generate the most headlines, but it's not the only southern New Jersey union with strong ties to the city's casino industry.

"A handful of unions work daily with the casino hotels, and nearly every other trade union in the region handles work that wouldn't exist without the industry, said Roy Foster, president of the Atlantic-Cape May Counties AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, which represents 28 different unions and about 40,000 members.

"…Union painters and carpenters are employed full time at all of the casinos and they're charged with completing much of the day-to-day maintenance work. They also do minor renovations.

"Members of the electricians' union are employed full time at the Sands Casino Hotel, where they handle daily maintenance work, and electricians are at the other casino hotels almost daily completing work for contractors, Foster said.

"…The construction of new casinos and expansion of existing properties has led to plenty of work for members of the southern New Jersey's building trades.

"…But the building trades aren't the only unions with ties to the casino hotels. Other unions that complete work for the industry include the International Union of Operating Engineers, Teamsters and Atlantic City Musicians Association.

"…The 400-member Atlantic City Musicians Association Local 661-708 looks out for the interests of musicians who play primarily in casino lounges and ballrooms.

"Carl Matani, the union's secretary treasurer, said the union helps set standards for the musicians' wages and benefits. He said Local 661-708 has a contract with Resorts and the other casinos abide by the terms of that contract.

"Local 661-708 also supports many of the big-name acts that perform in Atlantic City. Matani said union members formed the 78-piece Atlantic City Symphony orchestra that backed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli during his concert at Boardwalk Hall last December…"

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