ATLANTIC CITY — Union hospitality workers at Trump Entertainment’s two properties in the resort will vote today on an agreement announced Thursday between the company and Local 54 of UNITE-HERE.
If approved, the three-year contract will apply to the 1,800 union members working at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.
“Our contract committee has worked hard to achieve this fair agreement that ensures our members are able to maintain their standard of living. We look forward to presenting it to our full membership at these properties for ratification,” Local 54 President Bob McDevitt said in an emailed statement.
Talks between Trump and Local 54 had deteriorated to the point that the casino company threatened to lock out union workers before resuming negotiations two weeks ago. But Trump CEO Bob Griffin characterized the process as “professional” overall.
“The current market conditions dictated change and therefore the negotiations were difficult,” Griffin said in an emailed statement. “Both sides made concessions to ensure that the Trump Organization is on solid financial ground. We value and respect our Local 54 employees, and we appreciate all they do to care for our customers ... (and) the sacrifices made by (them), and all of our team members throughout the past year.”
Terms will not be made public until after the vote. But McDevitt had said he was pushing for new contracts similar to the three-year agreement ratified Nov. 1 by 5,000 Local 54 members working at the four resort casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment.
Those contracts provide for raises — the first since 2008 — and maintain health care and pension benefits for union workers at Caesars Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Showboat Casino Hotel and Harrah’s Resort.
Local 54 contracts for bartenders, cocktail waitresses, cooks, housekeepers and other service employees at 10 of the 11 resort casinos expired Sept. 15.
Tropicana Casino and Resort, Resorts Casino Hotel and ACH, formerly the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort, are still negotiating deals. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s agreement with the 14,000-worker union runs out next year.
Local 54 also continued talks Wednesday night with Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which was Trump Marina Hotel Casino until Landry’s Inc. bought it in February. No information was available Thursday about Local 54’s deal with Golden Nugget.
Landry purchased Trump Marina for $38 million, a fraction of the $316 million price another prospective buyer nearly paid in 2008.
The price drop illustrates the local gaming industry’s struggles, which began five years ago when neighboring states started opening casinos and were exacerbated by subsequent national economic difficulties. Since 2005, 10,000 casino workers in Atlantic City have lost their jobs while annual industry revenue dropped from $5 billion to $3.6 billion last year.
Performance indicators released Thursday show the difficulties continue: Eight of the 11 resort casinos reported third-quarter revenue declines. Industry revenue was $934 million from July through September — down 9 percent from the same period in 2010.
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