When workers at Bally's and Caesars in Atlantic City voted two years ago to become members of the United Auto Workers, they joined about 8,000 casino-industry colleagues in Indiana, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Michigan.

So what's up with the union that for decades has been so strongly identified with a single industry? Why is the UAW getting involved with the casino industry? Does this signal a shift away from the American auto industry, which these days is on the decline?

Not at all, said UAW international representative Milton Rosato.

Rosato said his union has long had a diversified membership. He said UAW card-carriers include folks who work in public-sector jobs, health care, higher education - even jai alai players in Rhode Island.

According to Rosato, the field in which people work makes no difference to the union.

"We've always taken on the fight for any workers who are being abused," he said.

- Chuck Darrow