Union turning up heat on Revel as sale looms - Fox 2 News Headlines

Union turning up heat on Revel as sale looms

Posted: Updated:
Photo by Arun Kristian Das Photo by Arun Kristian Das

By WAYNE PARRY | AP

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The main union representing Atlantic City casino workers is turning up the heat on the non-union Revel Casino Hotel.

The effort is an attempt to save as many jobs as possible if the struggling casino is sold or goes bankrupt again.

Last week, Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union marched down the Boardwalk and into the casino, demanding the right to unionize and have job security if it's sold.

On Wednesday, Revel workers asked the State Investment Council to pressure Revel's largest owner to protect workers' jobs in the event of an ownership change.

The council has hired Chatham Asset Management to invest $300 million worth of state pension funds into various companies. The union wants the council to use that leverage to pressure Revel to guard its employees' jobs.

"I've learned that when you hire someone, and the money is in your pocket, you have all the power," Rob Mayer, a bellman at the casino, told the council during Wednesday's meeting in Trenton. "We're here to ask you to use that power to protect the jobs of me and my co-workers.

"I'll be honest with you: I'm scared about my future," he said. "Every day I go into work, I wonder if this is the day that there will be an announcement of a sale, and I'll be out of a job."

Equality Brown has been a cleaning worker at Revel since the day it opened nearly two years ago.

"I'm a single father, and I took a job at Revel because it seemed like it was going to be a great place to work," he said. "We've been loyal, hard-working employees. Right now, everyone is nervous. Everyone is afraid they'll lose their jobs."

Revel announced last year it is weighing "strategic alternatives," which in the casino industry usually means pursuing a sale or a bankruptcy filing, which would be Revel's second in as many years. Reported suitors for the $2.4 billion casino, which would be expected to sell at a steeply discounted price, include the Seminole Indian tribe of Florida through its Hard Rock franchise, and Caesars Entertainment, which already owns four of Atlantic City's 11 casinos.

Revel did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Since opening in April 2012, Revel has struggled in the competitive Atlantic City casino market, ranking near the bottom of the city's 11 gambling halls in terms of the amount of money won from gamblers. It filed for bankruptcy less than a year after it opened, shedding vast amounts of debt, but still has not been able to drastically improve its performance.

The union has opposed Revel since before it opened as the city's only non-union casino.

New Jersey state Senate president Steve Sweeney said the investment council should pressure Revel to protect the workers' jobs. Sweeney said he sponsored legislation to provide state financial incentives to the casino when its construction had ground to a halt and it was unable to secure the remaining money it needed.

"It was my legislation that got Revel built," he said. "Then to watch the way they ran it. ... We have to protect those jobs."

  • New Jersey NewsNew Jersey NewsMore>>

  • Revel closing, but property fight goes on

    Revel closing, but property fight goes on

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:34:07 GMT
    A casino piano tuner in Atlantic City is fighting the state's attempt to seize his late parents' house as part of a redevelopment project connected to the closing Revel Hotel Casino. Charlie Birnbaum says the house in the shadow of the failed casino was his father's livelihood. He says he is attached to the home, even though his mother was killed there in 1998.
    A casino piano tuner in Atlantic City is fighting the state's attempt to seize his late parents' house as part of a redevelopment project connected to the closing Revel Hotel Casino. Charlie Birnbaum says the house in the shadow of the failed casino was his father's livelihood. He says he is attached to the home, even though his mother was killed there in 1998.
  • Missing NJ man found dead in Israeli forest

    Missing NJ man found dead in Israeli forest

    Thursday, August 28 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:33:49 GMT
    The body of a missing New Jersey religious student who disappeared during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week has been found. Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., had been missing since Friday, when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest and the two became separated, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
    The body of a missing New Jersey religious student who disappeared during a hike in a forest outside Jerusalem last week has been found. Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, N.J., had been missing since Friday, when he went on a hike with a friend in the Jerusalem Forest and the two became separated, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
  • Bergen County sheriff delays deployment of military vehicles

    Bergen County sheriff delays deployment of military vehicles

    Thursday, August 28 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:22:51 GMT
    A northern New Jersey sheriff has delayed deployment of armored vehicles that are being acquired through a federal military surplus program. In a statement, Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino announced Thursday he is taking the action after the U.S. attorney general and state attorney general decided to review the program in the wake of police response to civil unrest that followed a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
    A northern New Jersey sheriff has delayed deployment of armored vehicles that are being acquired through a federal military surplus program. In a statement, Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino announced Thursday he is taking the action after the U.S. attorney general and state attorney general decided to review the program in the wake of police response to civil unrest that followed a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices