Protests outside Tropicana casino

Tropicana casino in Atlantic City has been the epicentre of casino workers demonstrations in the last days.

US.-  Atlantic City’s casino workers union has begun what will likely be its toughest contract negotiations in nearly four decades.

The gambling hub’s current situation is nothing short of desperate. The casinos are barely beginning to get back on their feet and the city itself is on the brink of bankruptcy and a state takeover.

Workers from all eight of the city’s casinos have seen their salaries increase by only 80 cents per hour over the last 12 years. In addition, they chose to secure benefits like health insurance and retirement plans as the casino industry shrunk and four properties went out of business, but they now fear now even those benefits will be lost.

Last Friday, workers from the Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union picketed the Tropicana casino, whose billionaire owner Carl Icahn also owns the Trump Taj Mahal. Health insurance and pensions were eliminated at those facilities before Icahn took over.

The casino workers’ struggle is one that unions have been experienced nationwide in recent decades as companies move to cut costs by reducing or eliminating benefits.