Will Unions Cross Union Picket Lines If Twin River Has Strike?
Thursday, June 08, 2017
On Wednesday afternoon the union that represents cocktail servers, cooks, and other food and beverage workers at the Twin River Casino authorized s strike by a vote of 327 to 5.
“Workers gave the company until 4:00 am on Friday morning to come up with a deal. If not, they’ll walk out,” said the union.
Doyle said, “"We were aware in advance of the possible strike action by a subset of Twin River Casino employees. We have prepared for this eventuality and expect no interruption in the food, beverage and gaming service we intend to provide our customers this weekend.”
Twin River has placed ads in local publications for positions in our food and beverage departments. We have immediate openings, and offer highly competitive wages and benefits.
“Beyond this, we have no further comment on the strike action."
But, the 800-pound gorilla in the corner is will be unions working to build the Twin River Hotel continue with construction or will they respect the picket line by Unite Here?
Efforts to reach Michael Sabitoni who is the President of the Rhode Island Building Trade Unions were unsuccessful. Delays in the construction of the hotel would be a financial hit for the casino.
“Twin River created a crisis for our families and if they’re serious about fixing it, we’ll meet day and night to get this done,” said Julie Procaccini, a 10-year banquet captain.
Despite years of growing casino revenue, Twin River Casino unilaterally slashed health insurance benefits available to food and beverage workers on January 1, more than doubling deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.
“If I were to put me and my daughter on Twin River’s health care, it would cost us $1,200 a month—as much as rent or a mortgage,” said Alexis Maciel, a beverage server. “I’d have to move my family to afford Twin River’s health care.”
Since 2009, Rhode Island has passed six laws to help increase Twin River’s revenue. Last fall, Twin River rewarded its shareholders with a $20 million stock buyback.
Contract negotiations between the food and beverage workers and the company began in February. On May 30, hundreds rallied at the Rhode Island State House announcing preparations for a strike.
In April, GoLocal unveiled that Twin River Casino is using an out-of-state architectural firm for its new hotel in Lincoln, as well as out-of-state consultants to do structural and electrical engineering work.
According to documents obtained by GoLocal, Twin River is using out-of-state vendors for the new hotel in Lincoln - Connecticut-based architect JCJ, who is using structural (Classic Engineering) and electrical (WPF Engineering) firms from Michigan, and a "low-voltage" engineering firm (Network Technologies) from Georgia.
"This state should demand an explanation and seriously consider re-negotiating its relationships with Twin River," said URI Professor of Economics Len Lardaro.
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