Union members approve two-year contract at Harrah’s four Atlantic City casinos

Members of Local 54 of UNITE-HERE have approved a two-year contract at Harrah’s four casinos in Atlantic City that will maintain employee health and retirement benefits, grant raises to most members and boost protections for workers facing layoffs.

The Press of Atlantic City reported that about 1,000 of 4,000 workers at Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s and Showboat Casino Hotel voted at the Atlantic City Convention Center on Monday, three days after a 161-worker committee reached an agreement with Harrah’s management. About 97 percent of votes favored the agreement, Local 54 President Bob McDevitt said.

“A shorter-term contract is better because it’s impossible to predict the economy four or five years out and negotiate wage increases from the bottom of the economy,” he said.

“In this challenging economic and competitive environment we must all work together ... so that the casinos can continue to create jobs for thousands of people who rely on their businesses for their livelihood,” said Don Marrandino, head of Harrah’s Eastern Region.

Local 54 represents about 15,000 workers in Atlantic City, including food and beverage servers, housekeepers and dishwashers. Contracts between Local 54 and 10 of 11 casinos expire this year. The Borgata renegotiated its contract last year.