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Casino Workers Union, Trump Entertainment Resorts, Reach Tentative Deal

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(credit: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

(credit: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP)Atlantic City’s casinos are dealing with problems on numerous fronts, but labor unrest won’t be one of them.

The resort’s main casino workers’ union shook hands Thursday on a tentative deal on a new contract with the Trump Entertainment Resorts, which owns the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel Casino.

Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union agreed Thursday to a three-year pact with Trump Entertainment Resorts. The company owns the Taj Mahal Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Terms were not immediately revealed. But a contract reached last month with the four Caesars Entertainment casinos — Caesars Atlantic City, Bally’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino Hotel — kept workers from taking pay cuts or contributing to their insurance or pension costs.

“Our contract committee has worked hard to achieve this fair agreement that ensures our members are able to maintain their standard of living,” said Bob McDevitt, president of the 14,000-member union. We look forward to presenting it to our full membership at these properties for ratification.”

Union members will vote on whether to ratify the contract on Friday.

Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, said he is relieved to have reached an agreement with the union “that satisfies the needs of all parties.”

“The current market conditions dictated change, and therefore the negotiations were difficult,” he said. “Though challenging, these negotiations were professional throughout, and Local 54 represented their members well. Both sides made concessions to ensure that the (company) is on solid financial ground.”

The pact covers almost 1,800 cooks, housekeepers, bartenders, cocktail servers and other service workers at the two casinos.

Bargaining still remains at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Resorts Casino Hotel, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, and ACH, the casino formerly known as the Atlantic City Hilton, which won approval of a deal on Wednesday to let it stay open for another year. The only casino not included in the current bargaining is the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, whose contract runs through Sept. 2012.

If the contract is ratified on Friday, the union will then have contracts in place at seven of Atlantic City’s 11 casinos.

Both sides had sought to avoid a strike that could have proven devastating to the already-struggling resort, which is battling ever-growing competition from casinos in neighboring states, as well as the continuing sluggish economy.

Atlantic City’s casino revenues fell from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006 to $3.6 billion last year, and the resort will show a further decline at the end of this year.

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