Hard Rock deal ends casino strike threat in Atlantic City

Atlantic City’s main casino workers union reached an agreement on Saturday with the Hard Rock Casino, removing the last threat of a strike during the busy holiday weekend.

Local 54 of the Unite Here union said it reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike that had been threatened for 12:01 am Sunday.

The union had reached tentative agreements on Thursday with the Borgata, which is owned by MGM Resorts International, and three Caesars Entertainment casinos: Caesars, Harrah’s and the Tropicana.

Clouds pass behind the guitar sculpture at the entrance to the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, NJ, on June 28, 2022. On Saturday, July 2, 2022, Hard Rock reached agreement with Atlantic City’s main casino workers union, ending the last possibili ((AP Photo/Wayne Parry)/AP Newsroom)

Resorts and the Golden Nugget are two casinos still without a contract, but the union said it expects both of them to agree to one in the coming days.

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Bally’s and the Ocean Casino Resort have signed so-called “me-too” agreements committing themselves to adopting the terms of contracts the union reaches with the larger casinos.

Hard Rock Casino AC

Clouds pass behind the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, NJ ((AP Photo/Wayne Parry)/AP Newsroom)

The deals still need to be ratified by the full union membership.

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“We are extremely pleased that we were once again able to reach a successful settlement with Unite Here Local 54 to increase wages and benefits for our serving team members,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. “We look forward to further expanding this excellent relationship at both the national and local levels as we expand our iconic brand.”

A casino worker in Atlantic City

A game of roulette underway at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City NJ (AP Photo/Wayne Parry/AP Newsroom)

The union had said it is seeking “significant” salary increases in new contracts to help workers keep pace with rapidly rising prices for gasoline, food, rent and other expenses.

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Contract terms were not immediately made public.

Ticker Security Last Exchange Change %
BALY TWIN RIVER WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS INC. 20.22 +0.44 +2.22%
MGM MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL 30.00 +1.05 +3.63%
CZR CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT INC. 38.53 +0.23 +0.60%

The deals not only avoid what would have been a costly and disruptive strike during one of the busiest weekends of the year for the casinos, but it provides labor peace in the crucial third summer of the coronavirus pandemic, as the casinos are struggling to return to the revenue and profit levels they enjoyed before it began.

The deals avoided what would have been the city’s first casino strike since 2016.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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