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News :: Labor
Bally's security officers vote on union June 3 to join SPFPA
05 May 2007
ATLANTIC CITY — Security officers will vote next month on union representation at Bally's Atlantic City, where another union recently filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to represent table games employees.
Encouraged by the United Auto Workers' move to organize Atlantic City dealers, the International Union of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America has been conducting an organizing drive of its own during the past few months. Bally's is the first casino for which SPFPA has won an election date, although the union is targeting workers at all 11 casinos.

“Our strategy is ... once we get this one up and running and we win this election, to organize the rest of the casinos all in one shot,” SPFPA Organizing Director Steve Maritas said.
The bargaining unit includes 230 full- and part-time casino and hotel security officers, fire-command officers and security-operations specialists. Employees will vote June 3.
“We believe that when all the information and facts about the election are reviewed by our employees, they will realize that working together directly with us instead of a third party is in their best interest,” Ken Condon, senior vice president and general manager of Bally's, said in a statement.

Maritas said he believes security officers — he estimated there were between 2,000 and 2,500 total in Atlantic City, with Bally's having one of the highest totals — will support the union in an election largely because they are seeking higher wages. The average casino security officer here earns between $10 and $13 per hour, while employees whom the Roseville, Mich.-based union represents at three Detroit casinos earn as much as $17, Maritas said.

The union tries to obtain pledge cards from at least 75 percent of employees before filing a petition with the NLRB, according to Maritas, which is more than twice the amount that the federal agency requires.

Maritas said the union will have 12 organizers campaigning in full force starting this summer.
SPFPA is watching the UAW's organizing drive closely, hoping that momentum among dealers may spill over to the security officers. “We feel that in order to organize casino security officers, you have to have the rest of the house,” Maritas said, adding that having some non-union workers dilutes union workers' bargaining strength.

The NLRB certified the UAW as Caesars Atlantic City dealers' bargaining agent in March. The UAW won an election at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino later that month, although the union's status is up in the air as the board investigates an objection filed by the casino.

Dealers at Trump Marina Hotel Casino are scheduled to vote on UAW representation May 11, and the union filed a petition to represent Bally's dealers last month, although the board has yet to set an election date.



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