MASHANTUCKET, CT – Hundreds of employees of Foxwoods Resort and Casino now have a voice in their workplace. An overwhelming majority of employees voted to be represented by the New England Joint Board of UNITE HERE, a union representing hospitality, gaming, and manufacturing workers in New England.
The vote took place throughout the day on Friday and was conducted through the authority of the Mashantucket Employment Rights Office (MERO). The workers join over 100,000 gaming workers across the US represented by UNITE HERE, making it the largest gaming workers union in the country.
Noticing the positive impact other unions have made for workers at Foxwoods, ESD workers began their organizing with the New England Joint Board over a year ago. ESD workers have many concerns about their working conditions and say that a union will give them the voice needed to win a better return on their hard work. The predominantly immigrant workforce cites the threat of outsourcing as a prime motivating factor for forming a union.
“I voted yes for the union because I’m concerned about job security. We all have families to support and we can’t do that comfortably if we’re constantly worrying that our jobs could disappear without us having any say,” says Leon Morrison, a 24 year ESD worker and resident of Norwich. “By voting yes for the union we now have a seat at the table.”
“ESD workers sent a strong message of unity by voting yes today. We’re hopeful that Foxwoods will respect the workers’ decision and schedule negotiations as soon as possible. We look forward to negotiating in good faith with Foxwoods to address the many concerns that workers have,” says Warren Pepicelli, Manager of the New England Joint Board.
The ESD department becomes the fifth union represented department at Foxwoods Resort Casino.