ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., June 16 (UPI) -- A two-hour union demonstration in Atlantic City, N.J., was condemned by a Tropicana Casino and Resort executive for driving business away from the city.
The labor protest against the casino led to the arrest of 49 UNITE-HERE union members for blocking highway traffic and resisting arrest, The Press of Atlantic City reported Saturday.
The union had designated 49 members to go to the lengths of being arrested, doing background checks on those members to avoid complications and dressing them in neon-green t-shirts to make the arrests go smoothly.
The union members face fines of $500 each or a 30-day jail sentence.
"Local 54 continues to engage in tactics that drive business away from Atlantic City precisely at a time when all of Atlantic City leadership should be coming together to create a positive environment for our guests," said Tropicana Chief Executive Officer Tony Rodio.
He said the casino would evaluate renovation plans, but not commit to any reinvestment until a contract was signed with the Local 54 chapter of UNITE-HERE.
The demonstration was prompted by company's refusal to pay into the union's pension plan, pointing out a ruling in a bankruptcy court that permitted them not to do so.
The pension fund is underfunded by $1.4 billion, the newspaper said.