Hotel Workers’ Union’s ‘Interference Tactics’

-By Warner Todd Huston

OK, we here at the UnionLabel blog are all about being fair. Here we have a report that the folks at the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City have filed a complaint against the good ‘ol folks of Local 54 (Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Hotel & Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO) for unsavory and, perhaps, illegal union tactics. But, far be it for us to automatically accept the word of a casino.

But here is what the casino’s General Manager said:

“Not only are the tactics in direct violation of our agreement, but this is a classic case of the union’s leadership trying to further its own agenda with callous disregard for employees who must suffer the consequences, both financial and job-related, when we cannot maintain certain levels of business,” Tropicana General Manager Mark Giannantonio said. “These kinds of tactics go beyond advocacy and it’s high time that someone stood up for the interests of the 3,700 people working on our property who are being hurt by the union’s destructive intent.”

So, a casino guy. OK. But let’s consider this. We ARE talking about a union here! So, who do we believe? Well, as America’s Founding Fathers said during the debates over the ratification of the Constitution, “let history be our guide.” And a perusal of history finds us unable to be too overawed by the innocence, truth and peacefulness of Local 54.

Speaking of “peace”, these fine peaceful union folks have been photographed carrying signs that proclaim “No Contract, No Peace!,” so their peaceful intentions are certainly above question.

Of course, it should go without saying that since the 1990s this particular local has been mixed up with the mob and had various officials accused and convicted of embezzlement… but then, seemingly what union hasn’t? Even as late as this month The New York Times reported that claims of unsavory tactics of Local 54.

In announcing a civil suit aimed at taking over Local 54 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Attorney General Dick Thornburgh said the Philadelphia-based Bruno/Scarfo crime family had used violence and intimidation to control Local 54 for 20 years and to systematically loot its health and welfare funds.

Hmmm. So, who do we believe?

I’ll leave that you, our faithful readers.

Warner Todd Huston’s thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites such as,, men’ and among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a guest on several radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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