UNITE HERE employees stage an Atlantic City walkout:

Hotel employees at 7 of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos walked off the job at 6 a.m. today, just as weekend crowds were beginning to arrive. The workers, whose ranks include housekeepers, bartenders, waiters and porters, began picketing outside while guests inside continued to throw down their bets or slip quarters into slot machines. The strike did not affect dealers and other employees of the gambling operations, who remained on the job. The casinos affected by the walkout are the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Resorts Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, Showboat Casino-Hotel, Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Hilton. The striking workers are members of Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees, whose contract with the casinos has expired. The most significant issue separating the two sides is the practice of subcontracting by casinos, which lease space to restaurants and bars without requiring them to use union workers. “We have 10,000 people on strike and thousands on the picket lines,” said Chris Magoulas, a spokesman for the union. “I think the message is that we are completely serious about achieving our goals of keeping middle-class jobs in the gaming industry.”

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