For immediate release
February 27, 2020
After Caesars invested $90 million in the new property, workers who struggle to access health care and who receive poverty wages call for dignity and respect
Elizabeth, IN – 150 Caesars Southern Indiana workers and their allies delegated management on Wednesday afternoon to call for good, accessible health care and livable wages. Nearly 100 Caesars Southern Indiana casino workers were joined by Caesars Indiana Grand workers from Shelbyville along with workers from Biloxi, Mississippi and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Caesars Southern Indiana made more than $220 million in gaming revenue in fiscal year 2019, yet workers are forced to choose between health care and other necessities due the cost of the company’s insurance plan. As of September 2019, when the Southern Indiana Council last received health care enrollment figures, 33% of Caesars Southern Indiana workers had no employer-provided health insurance and only 6% had a family coverage plan. The State of Indiana licenses Caesars to operate with the expectation that the casino contribute to economic development, a central component of which should be providing good jobs.
“The health insurance deductible is so high that at the start of the year I have to pay for all of my medications and doctor’s office visits until the insurance covers anything,” said Betty Marion, a 16-year employee. “It’s hard for someone who’s single to get by on my wage with this insurance. Do you pay for food or do you let your medications go by the wayside? Do you pay the electric bill or go to the doctor? Every year it’s like quicksand trying to get health care. And it’s not fair that folks like me who have served the casino for so long aren’t taken care of.”
The 450 workers at Caesars Southern Indiana are represented by the Southern Indiana Council, which includes of UNITE HERE Local 23, Teamsters Local 89, and IUOE Local 399. The Greater Louisville Labor Council also joined the delegation and declared their support for Caesars workers, along with members from AFSCME, UAW and IUE-CWA.
Following the anticipated merger of Caesars and Eldorado, 7,500 union members at nine properties in Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey will be bargaining contracts in 2020. These workers are determined to win decent wages and affordable health care, with the simple demand that One Job Should Be Enough.