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Atlantic City Union Pickets Start Friday

22 September 2004

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Local 54 will picket Tropicana Casino and Resort, starting midnight Friday and running through Saturday night, as part of the union's plan to force the casino industry into a contract.

"In a memo sent Tuesday to the 14,500 union workers affected by the expired casino-hotel union contract, leaders explained how an extension period was chosen, what general actions to expect and how much picketers would be paid if they go on strike.

"The union's contract with 11 of the city's 12 casinos expired Sept. 15. On Friday night, Local 54's contract committee agreed to extend negotiations until Oct. 1.

"Robert McDevitt, president of Local 54 of Unite-Here, said after that meeting that the union had 'interesting things planned' for the two weeks.

"…A Tropicana-only picket makes sense as a first action for the union, McDevitt said, because of the casino's plans to lease space in its entertainment and dining district, The Quarter, when it opens next month.

"…Subcontracting is the dominant issue at the bargaining tables, as Local 54 looks to secure more union jobs and the casinos focus on attracting well-known restaurants and more visitors.

"Other issues include wage and benefits packages, a three-year term on the contract and a successorship clause, which would ensure any contract signed would stay in effect if a casino is sold to another company…"

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