For immediate release
August 15, 2023
Richmond, Virginia – UNITE HERE, the gaming and hospitality workers union, responded today to legal developments surrounding the proposed Richmond casino’s status on the November ballot.
“Shame on those in this community who are trying to keep Richmond residents from voting on their future,” said Marlene Patrick-Cooper, President of UNITE HERE Local 23. “The Southside deserves this important development, and Richmond residents deserve to make their choice.”
“It’s ridiculous that opponents are grandstanding in court instead of embracing the opportunity to create 1,300 good paying careers with a path towards unionization and $30 million in annual revenue for Richmond,” said Paul Schwalb, Executive-Secretary Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 25. “Richmond’s working families can’t afford these kinds of cynical, self-interested ploys.”
UNITE HERE is the largest union of gaming and hospitality workers in North America, representing over 300,000 workers around the country. UNITE HERE Local 25 represents casino workers at nearby MGM National Harbor, where room attendants make $24 an hour. All workers there pay just $10 a month for gold-standard individual healthcare or $40 a month for family healthcare — while their employer contributes up to $1,866.95.
UNITE HERE Locals 25 and 23 represent over 8,000 Virginia voters, including food service workers from universities such as VCU, the College of William and Mary, and Old Dominion, as well as hospitality workers at Colonial Williamsburg.