Atlantic City, NJ- Thousands of UNITE HERE members were laid-off earlier this week during a one week stand-off by the NJ Legislative Assembly that shut down casino operations and racetracks in New Jersey. The state government was shut down over the weekend when lawmakers failed to pass a budget by the July 1 deadline. Various state government operations closed down as a result.
Following a rally of UNITE HERE members at the steps of the State House in Trenton, and intense mobilizing by workers and their supporters, state leaders met on Thursday and finally agreed on a state budget for 2006. "The working families of Atlantic City depend on their tips and wages to support their families," said Bob McDevitt, President of UNITE HERE Local 54 in a press statement earlier this week. "If the stand-off continues, many families will not be able to cover their most basic necessities at the end of the month. This will hurt not just our members but the more 60,000 workers that depend on the industry in South Jersey."
"We are deeply concerned about the economic impact that the state budget will have on our members who work in the hotels, casinos and race-tracks in New Jersey," said General President Bruce Raynor. "Workers, both in the private and public sector, deserve a budget that puts the interest of working families first and not the political ambitions of some politicians in the State Assembly." Governor Jon Corzine was instrumental in ending the stand-off and announced details of the budget during a press conference Thursday. For a full story, go to http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/07/06/nj.budget.ap/index.html.