Union Looks at Borgata
By michael
Atlantic City, New Jersey. July 9, 2003. The Press of Atlantic City reports that after organizing 1,800 workers at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, officials of Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union are looking at negotiating a contract with Borgata. Negotiations between Borgata and the union will start, informally, on July 14.

The union represents 17,000 industry workers and looks at the contract they hope to negotiate with Borgata as an agreement that will set the tone for contracts to be negotiated in 2004 with Atlantic City’s 11 other casino hotels. Those contracts run out in September, 2004.

“A good contract with Borgata will definitely drive the negotiations for us next year,” said Local 54 President Robert McDevitt. “It's very important for the union to maintain the industry standards. If we can't maintain those at Borgata, we will lose them everywhere. It definitely will have an impact good or bad.”

In the Borgata contract the union will be looking to satisfy its workers needs regarding rising health-care costs, establishing a journeyman's rate for culinary workers that will “allow them to switch jobs without losing salary, and the improvement of work conditions for housekeepers who have seen their workload increase with the addition of new in-room amenities,” the Press of Atlantic City report stated.

“Borgata already has agreed to bring its workers into Local 54's benefit programs before a contract is reached,” McDevitt said. “Workers who start at the casino hotel during the first 30 days will be enrolled in the union's health and welfare fund, pension and severance programs.”

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