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Blame game continues as Icahn rejects Taj Mahal union’s contract proposal (Read More…)

Aug 31, 2016
By Alison Burdo

The owner of the Trump Taj Mahal has double downed on accusations that the leader of the casino workers’ union was the driver behind the upcoming October closure in a statement that said UNITE HERE Local 54 stands to gain from the use of a union-run healthcare plan and its president used “misleading propaganda” to try to force management to adopt it.

“Bob McDevitt and the Taj bargaining committee have no one to blame but themselves for this sad outcome,” said Tony Rodio, president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment Inc., which manages the Atlantic City casino on behalf of Icahn Enterprises, on Monday. “If McDevitt cared even one iota about the future of the employees he would have allowed them to vote on the proposal we offered five weeks ago based on his recommendations, which we believe could have saved the Taj. But in the end he blindsided us and the employees because closing the Taj served his personal purposes.”

The union previously told the Philadelphia Business Journal the last time the two sides came to the table to negotiate was in late June, just before the round-the clock strike began on July 1.

Fight for $15 Organizers Tell SEIU: We Need $15 and a Union (Read More…)

August 14, 2016
BY David Moberg

The start to this weekend’s Fight for $15 convention didn’t go as planned.

As roughly 10,000 conference goers gathered in Richmond, Va., to talk about unions and low-wage work, organizers behind the nationwide campaign demanded a union of their own.

On Friday, Jodi Lynn Fennell, a child care worker organizer from Las Vegas, attempted to deliver a letter from a Fight for $15 organizers asking the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to acknowledge it was their employer and to give them the right to organize.

A small group of supporters accompanied Fennell as she approached the stage where SEIU President Mary Kay Henry was scheduled to deliver the keynote address. But security guards stopped them from delivering the letter and escorted them away from the stage. Later, according to the Union of Union Representatives (UUR), a supervisor told Fennell and four other organizers they had to fly back to Las Vegas early Saturday morning, at their own expense.

Roughly 75 SEIU organizers and other field staff outside of the union’s national headquarters belong to the UUR. But Fennell and UUR Vice President Nicholas Calderon say that SEIU has told the roughly 100 other Fight for $15 field organizers who might be eligible to join the staff union that it doesn’t employ them.

“As we have said from the beginning, we are strong believers in the Fight for $15 campaign organizers and workers planned yesterday’s action to try to minimize disruption while still having visibility,” Conor Hanlon, UUR president, wrote in a statement to In These Times on Saturday. “We have no interest in stopping the crucial work going on there but do think it important that workers and community allies are aware of how SEIU is treating the Fight for $15.”

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