For immediate release
December 7, 2004
312-663-4373 x247 or 312-802-2302 (cell)
Strike to Begin Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend if Agreement Not Reached
Riverboat workers have set a strike date and are preparing to walk off the job during the busy Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend unless new contracts can be reached at four area casinos.
“There’s no better way to honor the legacy of Dr. King than to fight for our families,” says Andre Martelly, a barporter at Harrah’s East Chicago who cannot afford health insurance for his daughter. “We’ve been negotiating for weeks, and can’t wait any longer for fair wages and affordable health insurance for our children.”
According to a recent study conducted by Dr. Jane Kiser of Indiana University, 17% of riverboat workers who are parents have no health insurance for their children, and another 24% have enrolled their children on Hoosier Healthwise, Indiana’s public aid program for low-income families.
“We will spend the holidays enjoying time with our families,” says Local 1 President Henry Tamarin. “Then we will prepare to fight for the wages and benefits we need to take care of them.”
In September, riverboat workers voted by a 93% margin to authorize their negotiating committee to call a strike if necessary.
A rally for riverboat workers is scheduled for December 14 at 11 a.m. at Harrah’s East Chicago.
UNITE HERE Local 1 represents 850 workers at Harrah’s East Chicago, Trump, Majestic Star, Buffington Harbor Pavilion and Blue Chip Casino. More information is available at www.RiverboatWelfare.com www.RiverboatWelfare.com.