Teamster Local 251 members have won an agreement for a new contract at Twin River Casino after a 41.5 hour strike from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. Teamster members unanimously authorized a strike when Twin River demanded a contract that imposed health care cuts and eliminated workers’ job security.
On Tuesday evening, Local 251 and Twin River negotiators reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that secures and improves workers’ health benefits. The agreement needs member ratification.
The agreement delivered three percent annual wage increases for non-tipped employees and improvements on the benefits previously imposed by Twin River. Twin River also dropped its demands for contract changes that would give management the right to lay off all parking valets and subcontract their jobs to a non-union operator.
“My job security is everything to me,” said Cory Almeida. “It took a strike to protect our jobs, and we were ready to do it.” Other union workers honored Teamster picket lines.
Local 251 members credited public support and solidarity between unions for delivering the breakthrough in Tuesday’s negotiations that led to a tentative agreement.
“We’re hitting a tipping point,” said Local 251 Principal Officer Matt Taibi. “Rhode Islanders see growing inequality, healthcare cuts, and the loss of good jobs. They see that corporate greed and corporate politicians are hurting working families.
“People are not buying the tired, old arguments about unions. Unions aren’t the problem. We’re the solution,” Taibi said. “The showdown at Twin River shows that corporate greed is a losing bet.”