ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Latest on a protest by casino workers at the Tropicana (all times local):
Casino workers in Atlantic City, New Jersey, are protesting outside the Tropicana.
Workers from all eight of the city’s casinos have seen their salaries increase by only 80 cents per hour over the last 12 years.
They sometimes gave up pay raises to protect health and retirement benefits, but they now fear those will be lost.
The casino workers union has begun what will likely be its toughest contract negotiations in nearly four decades, with the casinos just beginning to get back on their feet and the city itself teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and a state takeover.
Workers from the Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union picketed the Tropicana casino on Friday.
Atlantic City’s casino workers are making only 80 cents an hour more now than they did 12 years ago.
They chose to secure benefits like health insurance and retirement plans as the casino industry shrunk and four properties went out of business.
But now those workers fear the benefits they sacrificed to preserve could be wiped out as the casinos struggle and the New Jersey city teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and a state takeover.
On Friday, workers will picket the Tropicana casino, whose billionaire owner Carl Icahn also owns the Trump Taj Mahal. Health insurance and pensions were eliminated there before he took over.
Their struggle is one that unions have experienced nationwide in recent decades as companies move to cut costs by reducing or eliminating benefits.