ATLANTIC CITY — Hotel and restaurant employees at Ocean Resort Casino are one step closer to unionizing.
On Thursday, the New Jersey State Board of Mediation approved the 74 percent of eligible employees who signed authorization forms, or cards, signaling their intent to form a union at the casino hotel property.
Federal law only requires 50 percent in order for an employer to formally recognize the workers’ intention to unionize. Bob McDevitt, president of UNITE HERE Local 54, said the “overwhelming” percentage of signatures submitted to the mediation board was “really satisfying.”
“(Ocean Resort) acted in good faith and we’re looking forward to sitting down at the table with them,” McDevitt said Friday.
A representative for Ocean Resort could not be reached for comment.
More than 1,300 employees at Ocean Resort Casino would be represented by Local 54 once negotiations begin.
Local 54 represents close to 8,500 employees in Atlantic City casino hotels, including cooks, housekeepers, bellhops, bartenders, cocktail servers and other service workers.
The union has already been recognized as the bargaining agent for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City’s nearly 1,500 union employees. Local 54 and the casino began contract negotiations in September. McDevitt said the union is focused on finishing negotiations with Hard Rock before shifting its full attention to Ocean Resort.
Ocean Resort and Hard Rock opened June 27, 2018. Both casinos reopened shuttered Boardwalk properties — Hard Rock at the site of the former Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, and Ocean re-branded the former Revel Casino Hotel.