Filed Under: Casinos
This morning, a coalition of religious leaders and unions arrived at Sugarhouse headquarters to deliver a letter informing management of a number of workers' intent to become or join a union, expressing their support and asking that Sugarhouse not intimidate or retaliate against the organizing employees.
Unions present: Unite Here!, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (these unions represent casino workers at Harrah's, Chester and many casinos in Atlantic City).
Religious leaders present: Rev. Robert Shine, of Berachah Baptist Church; Rev. Darrell Cook of Prince of Peace Baptist Church; Bishop Dwayne Royster of Living Water United Church of Christ; and Rev. Robert Shipman of Prince of Peace Baptist Church.
The group presented the following letter to Sugarhouse communications director Leigh Whitaker:
We represent a network of clergy and congregations across Philadelphia. Today we stand beside the workers at SugarHouse Casino as they demand the company respect their signatures and agree to a fair process whereby they may organize a union freely and without management intimidation or retaliation.
We expect you to instruct your managers to obey Federal law regarding the right to organize a union. Let it be known that if any of our sisters’ or brothers’ rights are violated there will be repercussions from the community.
Workers are organizing to hold SugarHouse to its promise of good, family-supporting jobs and to secure respect for themselves, their coworkers, and families.
Today, August 5, 2011, workers are publicly announcing their organizing campaign. The signatures below are the founding members of the SugarHouse Casino Organizing Committee. We have delivered a copy of this letter to the Philadelphia office of the National Labor Relations Board.
Inside the casino, CP observed a small number of casino employees — the only ones we saw were working as cashiers — wearing "Unite Here!" buttons.
What wil happen next isn't clear: The workers could file for an election with the National Labor Relations Board, but that process would likely take months, if not longer. They could also ask Sugarhouse to extend voluntary recognition.
Communications Director Leigh Whitaker, who received the group at Sugarhouse offices (manager Wendy Hamilton was out today), told the group that "We don't intimidate or retaliate against our employees," but had no immediate comment for CP on the surprise visit except to say that "We're on notice now."