For immediate release
July 8, 2019
As Isle Casino prepares to join Caesars Entertainment and applies for massive Florida expansion, Casino workers vote to strike
Employees at the Eldorado Resorts, owned Isle Casino Pompano Park, voted Friday and Saturday to authorize a strike. The workers are represented by UNITE HERE Local 355, an affiliate of UNITE HERE—the country’s largest union of hotel, casino and food service workers.
Negotiations at Isle Casino have lasted over fourteen months. Employee frustration and dissatisfaction with the company’s constant reductions to staff levels and amenities for guests led to Saturday’s vote and the prospect of the first-ever strike of casino workers in South Florida. A majority of the workers participated in the vote, with 93% voting to authorize a strike.
In May 2017, Isle Casino was bought by Eldorado Resorts, a Reno, Nevada based company. Shortly after the purchase, Eldorado Resorts laid off over 80 union employees, roughly one-fifth of the entire union workforce. Myrtho Bien-Aime, a casino housekeeper shared her concerns at Eldorado’s actions: “I have worked at the casino for nearly 7 years. I make $9.20 per hour. They made over $100 million in 2018, and our department lost so many workers in the layoff. We work harder for less pay, and they are making so much money. It’s just not fair.”
Last month, Eldorado Resorts announced it was buying Caesars Entertainment in a $17 billion dollar deal that will create one of the largest casino companies in the country, with 60 casinos nationwide. Shortly after the merger was announced, UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor expressed determination to fight cuts: “We will not stand by idly if the proposed Caesars-Eldorado transaction will lead to significant job losses, worse wages and benefits for our members, and lower state gaming tax receipts in the many communities where members we represent work and live.”
Locally, Eldorado has partnered with developer, the Cordish Companies, to pursue development of over 200 acres of land around the site of the current Isle Casino in Pompano Beach. The development will be voted on this fall by the Pompano Beach City Commission.
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UNITE HERE Local 355 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 7,000 members working in the gaming, hotel, food service, and airport industries in South Florida.