ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) – Workers at Atlantic City’s newest casino have voted to join a union, meaning all 11 casinos in the city are now unionized.
Employees at Revel Casino Hotel voted late Friday to join Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union by a margin of about 80 percent to 20 percent.
But it could also complicate efforts for the struggling casino to find a buyer or a joint venture partner. Revel, which has been losing money since it opened in April 2012, is also considering a second Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It emerged from Chapter 11 last year with vastly reduced debt but continued to struggle to gain market share in the crowded northeast casino market.
“Today is a great day for casino workers,” said union president Bob McDevitt. “We are stronger when we work together, and after today, we look forward to negotiating contracts with all of the Atlantic City casinos.”
Revel said it hopes to work with the new union, which will represent about 1,000 bartenders, cocktail servers, cooks, food servers, bellmen, housekeepers and room service workers, among others.
“Revel supports our team members’ right to unionize and respects their decision,” casino president Scott Kreeger said Saturday. “Moving forward, we hope to foster a good relationship and work productively with Local 54 as the collective bargaining process begins.”
Liditze Diaz, a Revel employee, said she voted for the union.
“I want the same job security and benefits for me and my son that Local 54 members have,” she said. “I’m excited that Revel workers are joining Local 54 and negotiating a contract at the same time as the rest of the city.”
Local 54 has battled Revel since before it opened. Having telegraphed its intention to use nonunion labor, the casino drew a powerful opponent in Local 54, which objected to state assistance that enabled it to open. The union said it feared that Revel’s addition to the already glutted Atlantic City market would cause one or more of the older casinos to close.
In January, the Atlantic Club shut down.
The $2.4 billion casino has remained near the bottom of Atlantic City’s 11 casinos in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers.