Atlantic City’s main casino union has filed a complaint with national labor officials challenging the suspension of 21 workers who took part in a protest at Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Local 54 of UNITE-HERE told the National Labor Relations Board that the workers were exercising their constitutional right to free speech during a peaceful act of “civil disobedience.”
In a letter to the NLRB accompanying the complaint, Local 54's attorney wrote, "Tropicana, however, chose to use this demonstration to restrain, coerce and intimidate its employees by suspending shop stewards and bargaining committee members.”
The letter went on to characterize the suspensions as an attempt by Tropicana “to chill employee support for the union” during a stalemate in contract negotiations between Local 54 and the casino.
Altogether, 49 union members were arrested Friday evening when they sat down in the roadway and blocked traffic near Tropicana’s entrance. Tropicana responded by suspending 21 of its workers who participated in the protest, calling their action an “illegal activity.”