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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Hard Rock’s last-minute deal ends strike threat in Atlantic City

Hard Rock’s last-minute deal ends strike threat in Atlantic City

Publish Date: 07/04/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Hard Rock casino secured an agreement last Saturday with Atlantic City’s main casino workers’ union, Local 54 of the Unite Here union, avoiding a strike during the busy holiday weekend.

“We are extremely pleased that we were once again able to reach a successful settlement with Unite Here Local 54 to increase wages and benefits for our deserving team members,” said the chairman of Hard Rock International, Jim Allen. “We look forward to further expanding this excellent relationship at both the national and local levels as we expand our iconic brand.”

The union represents approximately 6,000 hotel and casino workers. It has also secured similar agreements with the Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s, and the Tropicana on Thursday, as well as Bally’s and the Ocean Casino Resort. Contract terms of the so-called “me-too agreements” were not immediately made public, replacing the one that expired on June 1.

In the past, the union focused on maintaining health care and pension benefits. However, with the impact of the post-pandemic economy that came with spiraling prices for gasoline, food, rent, and other living expenses, it is now concentrating to reach an agreement on “significant” pay raises for workers.

“This is the best contract we’ve ever had,” said Bob McDevitt, the union president. “We got everything we wanted and everything we needed. The workers delivered a contract that they can be proud of for years to come.”

The deals avoided the threatened strike that would have prevented the casinos to perform well during the peak tourist season. It would also be Atlantic City’s first casino strike since 2016 that was caused by the Trump Taj Mahal casino. The casino failed to restore the workers’ health care and pension benefits that were taken away from them in bankruptcy court.

The casino was eventually closed down on October 10 that year after the union went on strike on July 1. Owned by billionaire Carl Icahn at that time, Trump Taj Mahal was later sold to Hard Rock International and reopened as the new Hard Rock Atlantic City in June 2018.

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