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Atlantic City Union Warns of Strike Action

3 September 2004

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "Less than two weeks before its contract expires, the city's largest and most powerful labor union warned Thursday of the possibility of a strike unless the casinos back off from the controversial practice of subcontracting.

"Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union said it is prepared to do 'whatever it takes' to preserve union jobs, including staging a potentially crippling strike if a contract agreement is not reached by the Sept. 15 deadline.

"…Threats of a strike do not appear to be mere bluster. Local 54 staged a peaceful three-day walkout in 1999 during its last contract and is still remembered for a violent strike that shook the city in 1986.

"Subcontracting appears to be the main sticking point in current negotiations between the union and the New Jersey Casino Association, an industry trade group.

"…During the news conference, Local 54 released copies of an in-house study that warns of the alleged detrimental effects of subcontracting. The study calls for cooperation - not confrontation - between the union and the casinos at a time when the gaming industry is moving forward with a second wave of expansion that is subsidized by $92 million in state funding…"

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