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Unions target Connecticut casinos

4 September 2007

CONNETICUT -- As reported by the Connecitcut Day: "Big labor has set its sights on a big target — the Foxwoods Resort Casino — raising the stakes for workers and management there and possibly at the nearby Mohegan Sun.

"As the United Auto Workers union organizers make their push at Foxwoods and the UAW continues to add unions at commercial casinos like the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, industry analysts said the pressure to organize both tribal and commercial casinos appears likely to increase.

"The UAW began organizing dealers and other workers at Foxwoods last spring.

"...The UAW already represents more than 6,000 casino dealers and others in Detroit, Rhode Island and Atlantic City, said Robert Madore, director of the UAW for Region 9A.

"A group of dealers at a riverboat casino in Evansville, Ind., recently filed for a representation election, he said.

"...The union effort at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, only a few miles from the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, has the potential to affect Mohegan Sun eventually if the push at Foxwoods is successful, Pollock said. Both casinos have the same attraction for union organizers: large, non-union work forces.

"...Foxwoods dealers have not yet submitted union authorization cards to the National Labor Relations Board to form a union, let alone negotiated a contract. But an organizer for the UAW, known formally as the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, said she and her colleagues are determined to establish a union there.

"Reduced benefits and wage issues are only part of the picture, said Mary Johnson of East Hampton, who has worked at Foxwoods for 14 years..."

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