Caesars Casino Dealers Union Approved

Tuesday, March 27th 2007, 6:01 pm
By: News On 6

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) _ The parent company of Caesars Atlantic City has decided not to challenge a vote by workers to form a union, granting casino dealers in Atlantic City their first union in 25 years.

The deadline for Harrah's Entertainment Inc. to challenge the March 17 unionization vote was Monday, according to the company and the United Auto Workers, which is representing nearly 900 Caesars dealers, keno and simulcast employees.

The workers voted 572 to 128 to become part of the UAW.

The union said it was notified by the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday that the board had certified the results of the election, clearing the way for collective bargaining at Caesars.

``This is another important step in winning a strong voice for casino workers in Atlantic City,'' said Elizabeth Bunn, the union's national secretary-treasurer. ``We're proud to assist workers at Caesars, Trump and all Atlantic City casinos in this historic citywide organizing effort.''

Dealers at Trump Plaza will vote on March 31 whether to join the union, and organizing activity has been occurring at several other Atlantic City casinos.

Harrah's Entertainment had no immediate comment, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Caesars workers will elect a bargaining committee in the next several weeks.

``Dealers sent a clear message with their vote,'' said Joe Ashton, the UAW's regional director for New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. ``We look forward to a productive and professional bargaining relationship with Caesars management.''

Many of the 45,000 casino workers here already are represented by unions, including many service employees. But until Monday, dealers had not been among them for a quarter-century.

In late 1982, dealers at what was then called Bally's Park Place voted to form a union, but were unable to reach agreement with the company on a contract, and went on strike the following May.

The work stoppage fell apart after three days and ended with Sports Arena and Casino Employees Local 137 waiving its right to act as bargaining representative for the casino's dealers.