ATLANTIC CITY - The United Auto Workers union vowed to move forward in its effort to unionize all dealers in this gambling resort despite a narrow defeat Friday in its effort to organize Trump Marina Hotel and Casino dealers.
The union announced yesterday that the National Labor Relations Board had set a May 26 date for a union-authorization vote by dealers at the Hilton Atlantic City Casino, where a majority of dealers petitioned for a union vote earlier this month.
Dealers at Bally's casino are scheduled to vote six days later, on June 2.
Friday's vote at Trump Marina was 183-175 against union representation.
"This is just a battle. We're winning the war 2-to-1 with Caesars and Trump Plaza," UAW representative James Moore said yesterday, referring to the two casinos here where dealers have voted to join the UAW.
In a sign of increasing acrimony between the UAW and casino management, UAW officials yesterday filed several charges with the labor board in Philadelphia alleging intimidation tactics by Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. during the two weeks leading up to Friday's election.
Trump Entertainment, the casino company controlled by Donald J. Trump, owns the Trump Marina, Trump Plaza and Trump Taj Mahal casinos here.
The charges by the UAW include suspension of a key union committee, attaching a "Vote No" ballot to workers' paychecks last week, surveillance of dealers by management, and removal of union-supporting materials from various places in the casino.
Another allegation involved Asian dealers who said a company-paid translator was providing misinformation about the union.
Trump Entertainment spokesman Tom Hickey called the charges "mind blowing, truly absurd and absolutely false." The company released a statement yesterday claiming victory over the outcome of Friday's vote at Trump Marina.
"We applaud our dealers for making this informed and thoughtful decision," the statement said. "Our productive dialogue over the past several weeks has strengthened our belief that our dealers share our commitment to work toward a better future. We look forward to working together to maintain a high quality of work life and bolster our already strong relationship with our team."
Trump Entertainment is challenging the results of the Trump Plaza election outcome with the NLRB, alleging the process was improperly influenced by a pro-union rally led by U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews (D., N.J.) a few days before the March 31 vote.
After gathering a strong majority in favor of the union last month, 358 full- and part-time dealers, dual-rate dealers, dual-rate supervisors and race-book writers at Trump Marina Casino voted against joining the UAW on Friday.
"This is not a setback," Moore said. "We are moving forward with the result of us getting an election date for the Hilton today."
There are about 630 dealers at the Hilton who will vote May 26 on whether to have the UAW represent them.
UAW officials said yesterday that dealers at the Tropicana or Resorts Atlantic City casinos could be next, as momentum has picked up at both to join the union.
"They're pretty much equal at this point," Moore said.