Last Atlantic City casino without union contract could agree Thursday

Officials from the Golden Nugget will negotiate Thursday with Atlantic City’s main casino workers union on a new contract that would guarantee the seaside gambling resort labor peace for four years.

The Golden Nugget is the only one of Atlantic City’s nine casinos without a new deal with Local 54 of the Unite Here union.

Both sides were expected to negotiate Thursday morning, and the likelihood of a deal appears high given the fact that the rest of the city’s casinos have already agreed to new pacts.

Thursday’s session follows the successful completion of negotiations Wednesday with Resorts casino on a new contract that contains the same economic elements as those reached with other casinos.

Housekeeping employees will see their pay increase to $22 per hour at the end of the four-year contract.

“It’s a great deal,” said Resorts president Mark Giannantonio. “We’re really thrilled for the employees. They’ve been working really hard for us, and now we’re happy we can put this behind us and move forward with our business.”

In addition to raises, the agreements reached with the casinos maintain fully funded family health care and pension benefits, language that protects jobs and increases work opportunities, and new technology protections, the union said.

The union reached agreements on new contracts shortly before early July strike deadlines with the Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s, Tropicana and Hard Rock. Two other casinos, Bally’s and the Ocean Casino Resort, agreed to so-called “me-too” deals, committing themselves to adopt the terms of contracts reached by some of the larger properties in the city.

In past contracts, the union concentrated on preserving health care and pension benefits, but this time sought “significant” pay raises for workers to help them keep pace with spiraling prices for gasoline, food, rent and other living expenses.

The union has authorized a strike on Saturday if a new contract is not reached with Golden Nugget.

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