Labor unions recruiting
in Atlantic City

Feb 27, 2007 6:13 AM

With efforts already under way to unionize casino dealers, an international labor group is seeking to organize an estimated 2,000 casino security guards in the Atlantic City’s 11 gaming halls.

The International Union of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America said last week that it had filed papers with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to begin a union drive.

The announcement came less than a month before the United Auto Workers union is scheduled to hold a sanctioned union election for dealers at Caesars Atlantic City. The National Labor Relations Board typically requires signed pledge cards from at least 30 percent of employees to sanction an election.

The SPFPA’s policy is to collect pledge cards from at least 70 percent of workers before filing an election petition, representative Steve Maritas told The Press of Atlantic City.

"If the UAW is able to organize at least one casino, then these things will snowball," Maritas said.

According to Maritas, casino security officers do not carry firearms and earn about $10 to $13 per hour. The SPFPA represents security officers at three Detroit casinos who earn between $15 and $16 per hour and have better benefits than their counterparts in Atlantic City, Maritas said.

Many of the casinos are not thrilled over the prospect of organized labor.

Anthony Rodio, regional president of the Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort and Resorts Atlantic City, told The Press that a union would create an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy between dealers and management.