Horseshoe Casino labor contract take effect this month

A group of five unions successfully unionized about 1,000 workers at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, negotiating a contract that took effect this month.

Leaders of Unite Here Local 7 said they plan to unveil details Thursday of the first union contract ratified at Horseshoe. The union local, which represents hospitality workers in the Baltimore area, plans to highlight the agreement during a nationwide day of marches and rallies planned by unions and service sector workers in more than 40 cities.

In downtown Baltimore, Unite Here plans a late afternoon march from McKeldin Square at Light and Pratt streets to City Hall, where they will rally. Actions in other cities include strikes, union organizing campaigns and other events.

“We’re taking seriously our charge of pushing for better jobs in service sectors,” Roxie Herbekian, president and lead negotiator of Unite Here Local 7, said Monday. “Baltimore has lost good paying manufacturing jobs, and we have to make service-sector jobs good, family-sustaining jobs.”

She said the agreement “will put millions of dollars more into the pockets of local residents. This is money will be spent in our local economy.”

A spokesman for the casino said the collective bargaining agreement between Horseshoe and the five-union coalition went into effect this month.

Casino workers won union representation shortly after the casino opened, but have been working out the terms of the contract since then, Herbekian said. The contract offers wage increases, improved health benefits, and an education and training fund, she said.

Unite Here represents about 400 Horseshoe employees, including all food and beverage and slot machine attendants. Other unions that bargained together include the UAW, which represents table games dealers and poker room dealers; the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 19, which represents stage and sound workers; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 355, which represents parking attendants, drivers and warehouse workers; and the International Union of Operating Engineers, which represents slot technicians.

Herbekian said the union is planning Thursday’s march to stress to elected officials and employers the need to support the interests of Baltimore city residents who work in the hospitality sector.

lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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