What are the Potential Ramifications of a Victory for Atlantic City’s Casino Workers?

By Adam Haynes in Casino
| July 1, 2022 12:25 pm PDT
  • Casino workers at the UNITE HERE Local 54 chapter are celebrating a seismic victory that has averted a strike over the July 4 weekend.
  • The union has accepted terms of new collective bargaining agreements with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment.
  • This landmark victory for workers could create a snowball effect across the United States and could lead to more unionized workers challenging existing terms.

It appears that casino workers in Atlantic City will be going to work tomorrow with their heads held high.

Resort bosses in the New Jersey gaming resort have acquiesced to demands from strikers, in a move that will surely be the first of many challenges statewide. Union contracts had terminated on June 1, with casino owners sticking to those same terms throughout a month of negotiations that were expected to culminate with a worker’s strike in Atlantic City over the July 4th weekend. 

The UNITED HERE trade group had approved a strike to start on July 1. But that will no longer be necessary, as new terms — which include better pay, greater benefits, and more satisfactory conditions for workers across the board — have been agreed to by both sides.

With “significant” raises demanded by the union, it appears that the sweet scent of victory will be permeating the famous boardwalk over the next few days. Both state residents and visitors looking to gamble in New Jersey will also be delighted that existing plans, which were at risk of falling through on account of the strike, can now go forward.

Although it’s an excellent win for unionized workers, some are questioning whether this will be the first of many planned strikes for American casino staff. Here are a few things that could change following the UNITE HERE union win in AC.

Will More Workers in the United States Strike for Better Pay?

That’s almost a certainty. In fact, before terms were even agreed to, more unionized strikes across the US were being planned.

Now that AC workers have proven that there is scope for better pay and conditions, you can expect a snowball effect that will be felt nationwide. With Bally’s, Ocean Casino, Resorts, and Golden Nugget consenting to uphold terms that MGM and Caesars have ironed out with the union, those in other states will be keeping an eye on proceedings.

It must be pointed out that Hard Rock has yet to agree on terms with the Union, being the only resort to come to arrangements in a last minute deal in the region. And having a casino that could potentially make headlines as the source of a picket will only help the cause of those watching from across the country.

An average, unionized casino worker in making the same as those in Atlantic City were will be eyeing change. Pay has not been adjusted to accommodate for surges in rental, food, and gas prices that are leading to a cost of living crisis in the United States.

Some workers, even those with over three decades of experience in the industry, were making roughly  $20 an hour. This was clearly seen as below par, according to the unions. Now that they have attained better terms, expect others to want in.

If you can’t make it to Atlantic City this holiday weekend, there are plenty of other ideas for celebrating July 4th you could consider. Failing that, hit up the best online casinos in the United States for the next best thing!

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