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Atlantic City Casino Strike Hurting City

20 October 2004

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "It's not yet known how Local 54's strike is affecting business at the targeted casinos, but its costs to the city are becoming clear.

"The 19-day-old strike - the longest casino strike in the city's history by more than two weeks - has pushed police overtime up and is apparently taking its toll on Atlantic City Expressway traffic.

"For the first two weeks of the month, there were about 65,000 fewer vehicles than historic traffic trends, according to the South Jersey Transportation Authority, or SJTA, which operates the roadway.

"The strike, which began Oct. 1, has cost the city about $380,000 in overtime, according to Lt. Michael Tullio.

"…The most expensive day was Saturday, when more than 10,000 striking casino workers marched down Pacific Avenue. The city paid about $43,000 in overtime for the rally, Tullio said.

"…Keith Bennett, president of the Police Benevolent Association Local 24, worked a 13-hour mandatory shift Saturday, missing his daughter's third birthday.

"…Traffic at the expressway's Pleasantville toll plaza is down about 6.5 percent for that period, while the Egg Harbor plaza is down about 3.5 percent to 4 percent.

"But it could not be determined if the traffic loss is the result of fewer casino customers or a reduction in the number of employees commuting to work each day, according to an SJTA statement…"

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