Members of the UNITE HERE labor union in Rhode Island are ready to down their tools in what they call the mother of all labor union strikes to have ever staged in Rhode Island.
The more than 375 members belonging to some about 26 of Local labor union say that there will be no need for their members to continue working if the current casino issue on their healthcare benefits is not appropriately addressed.
26 Local labor union representatives say that the casino has not been able to restore health care benefits that are entitled to the employees.
Following that, a section of the members whom we approached now say that if the casino is not willing to restore the health care scheme. They will plan for a significant and major demo, but this time it will not happen anywhere near the Twin River Rhode Island Casinos, which has withheld the healthcare benefits from the employees.
It is since January this year when the Local 26 Union members started to raise complaints that the operator and management of the Twin River Casino abruptly reduced the amount of healthcare benefit each member was supposed to receive by nearly 20% from a hundred percent to eighty percent.
The reduction of the healthcare benefits was and is contrary to the UNITE HERE local chapter, which was signed by the casino operator and the employees and witnessed by some stakeholders who agree that the Twin River Casino operator is acting in contravention to the agreement.
In their efforts to resolve the matter amicably, Local 26 Union representatives took the case to Rhode Island House on Wednesday. The aim of presenting their complaints to the powerful office in the state is to ensure that their healthcare benefits are reinstated.
Through their Vice President Ms. Jenna Karlin, Local 26 members who numbered about 100 or so told a local online political journal that they had received much intimidation from the Twin River Casino management over the last couple of months despite the facility making profits.
“It is very unrealistic that a service, which has made the huge profit over the past seven years or so cannot afford to fully pay the very people who have helped the casino make those benefits. We have seen that the benefits have more than doubled in those years from wherever they were to collecting over $225 million. Instead of the management maintaining to pay what we agreed, we are seeing a more than 20% slashing our members’ healthcare benefits. That will not happen! We are not asking for more,” Karlin said.
Apart from the Twin River Casino and the Lincoln property, the operator also continues to amass himself with much revenue from Hard Rock Casino & Hotel as well as Newport Grand Casino. Both gaming facilities are located in Biloxi, Mississippi.