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Casino Gaming, Political

Tropicana and Labour Union Mafiosos

“Local 54 won. The Casino Control Commission (CCC) denies Columbia Sussex’s request for gaming license.” Thinking this, I enjoyed a holiday party in a Tropicana meeting room. The quality of food and service, the cleanliness and charm were all very impressive.

I was on heightened-alert for rats, rodents, and other signs of filth, as well as disgruntled employees. I wanted to feel the pervasive atmosphere of fear that the labour Union warned existed at Tropicana. The post-Columbia Sussex, Union-accepted management did a magnificent job of raising the quality level from atrocious to excellent in a matter of days. There was nothing, but first-rate catering, service, appearance, and morale when I attended that Holiday party. It is a good thing that UNITE HERE Local 54 convinced the CCC to deny Columbia Sussex a license.

The holiday party was a matter of days after the CCC decision. In fact, I read letters to the editor in the Press of Atlantic City, concerning the CCC decision, the morning of the holiday party.

Today, I learned a few things that make me now wonder, “Was it really the Union’s mafia-esque actions that created the near-immaculate conditions that I experienced?” I discovered that representatives from the corporation holding this holiday party made a cold (“Cold” here meaning unannounced.) investigation of both the catering facilities and hotel rooms during the peak of Bill Yung’s supposed Tropicana tyranny. I discovered that these cold investigations and this holiday party had also occurred in 2006. They did not notice a divergence from 2006 exceptional service and facility quality. How was Columbia Sussex able to fool both this corporation and the attention of many gamblers, who did not see the filth, grime, and gloomy atmosphere that the labour union narrated to the public, when they visited Tropicana at the height of Bill Yung’s tyrannical reign?

I suggest that Unite Here acted more like mafia, than a union representing workers seeking reasonable working conditions. I further suggest that the animosity directed at Columbia Sussex went beyond the managerial decisions at their Atlantic City property. It strikes me that this was the most recent punch thrown in a long boxing match between Unite Here and Columbia Sussex. There have been a series of refusals from Columbia Sussex, nationwide, to cave-in to Union contractual demands. The Union Mafiosos here taught a lesson to Columbia Sussex and other businesses that want to decrease their workforce. The NJ government agency (the CCC) served as the hit-man for the unions. The precedent has been set that casinos may not and will not challenge the hiring levels that the union deems necessary to ensure the ambiguous, constitutionally-mandated “first-class operation.”

May a private corporation not reduce their workforce when profits do not meet payroll demands? May a casino not differ from a union-dictated business plan? Not in New Jersey; not in Atlantic City.

Unite Here, using Local 54’s Bob McDevitt as their front-man, cashed-in on owed political capital from their cashiers in Trenton. Supra-Atlantic County power-brokers leaned on the state-controlled CCC. By the time Unite Here stopped amassing political allies, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Unite Here would continue. Columbia Sussex may have won a few rounds of the labour disputes in other states, but not in Union-controlled New Jersey.

Now, it is strangely convenient that the leading bidder for the Tropicana is a former executive of a state-controlled agency. Here is our current city/state motto: “Why take your own business risk, when you can beat up a casino operator, and save (read – “steal”) the now state-supervised casino?”

Local 54 Goes To War Against Tropicana. Reading – http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/top_three/story/7522762p-7423155c.html.

Culinary Union not having its way with Columbia Sussex. Reading – http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/business/2008/jan/03/566633189.html.

Former CRDA Chairman Curtis Bashaw lined up to make move on Tropicana. Reading – http://www.atlanticcitytripping.com/cityboom/post.php?p=11&src=rss.


About Jesse O. Kurtz

I am committed to fulfilling the promise of Atlantic City. The town would benefit from greater political participation by average citizens. Hopefully, some of the posts herein will encourage you to get more involved in your community. This blog will also feature other topics and subjects beyond Atlantic City. I hope that you will come to love Atlantic City as much, or more than I do.


4 thoughts on “Tropicana and Labour Union Mafiosos

  1. I completely agree with you: the Union here acts like the mafia.

    Posted by Cecilia | January 12, 2008, 11:47 am
  2. Local 54 was thugish in their pursuit of CS. They twisted a few isolated incidents into a perception that it was widespread. Yung ignored McDevitt so he was personally offended and made it his mission to have him thrown out.

    Posted by dave202 | January 13, 2008, 2:31 am
  3. This guy Yung is getting away with murder all over the place! Not only is he screwing the unions in NJ, but he’s been running two renovation jobs on Long Island at the same time for months without a local union rep or a union employee. Fine. He had problems in AC. you would think he would try to learn from past mistakes. Far’s we can tell, his kid shows up every third week or so with his assistant/personal flunky and assorted ass kissers and drinks at his own bar while bragging about keeping the unions off “his” jobs. Wait until one of his kids starts making the news like Paris Hilton, sheer media exposure alone would have to make him shape up.

    Posted by Mike | January 15, 2008, 1:33 am
  4. That is a very well written letter Mr. Yung…

    Posted by Concerned CS Worker | January 15, 2008, 6:57 am

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