Push to unionize Revel

ATLANTIC CITY - Union pickets could be going up soon outside the newly opened Revel casino, even as the $2.4 billion month-old resort tries to build its business before a grand opening on Memorial Day weekend.

Three major labor unions, including the Teamsters and the United Auto Workers, announced Monday that they'll press to unionize workers at Atlantic City's newest casino.

The unions are joining with Local 54 of the Unite HERE union to start a unionization drive at Revel, whose dealers, hotel workers, beverage servers and others are not represented by a union.

Local 54 has repeatedly clashed with Revel over tax subsidies that the casino has received, as well as four- or five-year term limits it has imposed on many customer-service jobs.

Revel, which opened last month, is Atlantic City's 12th casino. It has reached pacts with some other unions.

"Revel wants to open a non-union casino in the midst of a union town, and destroy the standard of living that generations of workers have walked picket lines and gone on strike to achieve," said Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54. "That is unacceptable and impossible for us to ignore."

The casino said that it is working on a proposal to let its workers decide whether they want to join a union.

Spokeswoman Maureen Siman said the casino cannot yet discuss the details of its planned proposal.

McDevitt said pickets and other demonstrations outside Revel are a real possibility.

"How much disruption there is depends on whether Revel is willing to participate in a cooperative relationship with the unions, like all the other casinos in Atlantic City do, or whether they want to have a fight to the death," he said. "We don't picket our friends."