ATLANTIC CITY - Hoping to turn up the pressure on the gaming industry, casino workers picketed on the Boardwalk in a mass union demonstration to protest stalled contract talks.
Casino dealers and slot technicians represented by the United Auto Workers were joined Thursday evening by hundreds of AFCSME members from New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania, the unions said.
The UAW has been staging similar informational pickets recently to protest the lack of a contract in bargaining with casino representatives. Negotiations for the first-ever UAW contract have been dragging on for more than 18 months.
The union has authorized a strike against Bally's, Caesars and Tropicana Casino and Resort but has not set a date for a walkout. No strike has been threatened at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the fourth casino where workers have voted to unionize.
Harrah's Entertainment Inc., parent company of Bally's and Caesars, characterized the union protests as an attempt to "disrupt business and scare customers."
"Harrah's Entertainment continues to question the UAW's insistence on interfering with customers who come to Atlantic City for relaxation and entertainment, particularly during these challenging economic times," the company said in a statement.