On March 17, 2007, it was announced that the casino dealers working in the Caesars Atlantic City will vote on the issue of whether or not to join a union in a move that will be the first among the employees working at the casino.
Previously, there have been some efforts to organize the casino dealers but they have all failed. However, the United Auto Workers (UAW), the main driving force with the new union drive, is optimistic that their union drive will succeed this time around. The secretary and treasurer of the national union, Elizabeth Bunn, said that they are keen on the union drive because they want more rights for themselves, especially with the issue of their salaries, hours and working conditions.
The spokesman for Caesars Atlantic City, which is owned by Harrah’s Entertainment, commented that they will not comment on the issue before the union vote, but plan to release a statement containing their reaction after the results of the vote are known. The National Labor Relations Board will be the one responsible for tallying the votes.
The UAW is also seeking to unionize the workers at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, where a certification election is scheduled on March 31, 2007. It already represents casino dealers in 3 Detroit Gambling Halls: MGM Grand Detroit Casino, MotorCity Casino and the Greektown Casino.
There are about 880 Caesars Atlantic City Casino employees who are eligible to join the union like the dealers, cashiers and the keno employees. Harrah’s, which is the owner of 3 other gambling casinos in Atlantic City besides the Caesars casinos, have already filed a case, challenging the eligibility of about 91 of those workers. Many employees have refused to speak about the issue, fearing that they might be reprimanded at work.
The United Auto Workers’ main policy is to have at least 60% of the employees sign the cards that indicate that they are 100% behind the union drive before even submitting the petition before the NLRB to petition an election.
Many of the 45,000 employees in Atlantic City casinos are already members of a union like the service employees, but casino dealers are not among those people. Some of the organizations that have tried to organize a union for the dealers are the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Sports Arena Employees Union, but to no avail.