Ocean Resort Casino workers make important step toward unionization, secure approval from the New Jersey State Board of Mediation
Workers at Ocean Resort Casino are entering the final stages of their unionization effort, The Press of Atlantic City reported Friday. The Atlantic City hotel and casino resort, which is also in the process of changing its owner, opened doors last June together with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
The New Jersey State Board of Mediation approved this past Thursday the authorization forms, or else known as cards, signed by 74% of Ocean’s eligible employees to signal their intent to form a union. That approval moved the unionization effort one step closer to being completed.
Under federal law, cards signed by 50% of an entity’s workforce are enough so as for an employer to formally recognize the workers’ intent to form a union.
More than 1,300 of Ocean Resort Casino’s employees would be represented by Local 54 of the UNITE HERE labor union. Local 54 currently represents nearly 8,500 workers at Atlantic City’s operational hotel and casino resorts, including housekeepers, bartenders, cocktail servers, and cooks, among others.
Commenting on the latest developments, Local 54 President Bob McDevitt said that they were really satisfied by the “overwhelming” percentage of signatures collected and submitted to the Mediation Board. He further pointed out that Ocean Resort Casino “acted in good faith” and that the labor union was looking forward to sit down at the table with them.
Ongoing Negotiations with Hard Rock
As mentioned above, Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City opened doors on the very same day – June 27, 2018 – to join the Atlantic City casino market. Local 54 has already been recognized as the bargaining agent for nearly 1,500 employees at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The union and the casino resort commenced contract negotiations last September.
Mr. McDevitt said on Friday that they are currently focused on finishing negotiations with Hard Rock before moving on to Ocean Resort Casino. The Local 54 President has said previously that it was always their “objective to get Hard Rock’s contract done first.”
Hard Rock Atlantic City occupies the building of the former Trump Taj Mahal. The property opened doors in the early 1990s under the stewardship of US President Donald Trump. President Trump had cut all ties with the hotel and casino resort by the late 2000s, while New York billionaire investor Carl Icahn had taken over as its owner by that time.
Trump Taj Mahal closed doors in the fall of 2016 after a prolonged strike of the property’s unionized workers. Mr. Icahn actually blamed the closure on his bitter disagreement with the casino resort’s employees and the labor unions representing them.
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