Everett’s Casino Workers Demand the Same Pay and Benefits as Boston-Area Union Hospitality Workers; Strike Authorization Vote to be Called by the End of June if Agreement is Not Reached
Boston, MA — Today hundreds of Encore Boston Harbor workers joined a rally and picketed along the sidewalk at the casino’s main entrance on Broadway in Everett, MA. The rally participants wore red shirts, chanted, and beat bucket drums for over an hour. They held up signs and banners that read “5-Star Contract for Encore Workers!”
The Encore workers are members of UNITE HERE Local 26 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 25. They were joined by leaders and members from both unions, and by members of UNITE HERE Culinary Union Local 226 from Las Vegas. Casino workers and union leaders gave speeches from a stage on the grass.
The workers’ first union contract expired on April 19, 2023. They have been negotiating their second contract for months but have failed to come to an agreement on any of the core issues, including parity wages and standard union benefits that include a pension plan and housing loans.
Before Encore Boston Harbor opened in 2019, they promised to bring great jobs to the residents of Everett and nearby towns. Instead, the casino workers are paid less and receive fewer benefits than union workers who work at other Boston-area hotels. Durga Nepal, a Room Attendant who used to work at InterContinental Boston, said: “I applied for a job at Encore because it is closer to my home. I thought Encore would pay us the same, or even more than the InterContinental. Instead, I got a pay cut! I feel upset, because we are doing the same jobs, but for less money.”
Glenda Garcia, an overnight Utility Porter in the Public Areas Department, said: “Encore has made so much money in Everett. It’s time to fulfill their promises of higher salaries and Five-Star treatment for the workers. We deserve Five-Star Pay and Five-Star Benefits!”
UNITE HERE Local 26 President Carlos Aramayo said there is no reason Encore Boston Harbor workers should be paid less and have fewer benefits. “We are fighting for parity with our contracts downtown. Encore has made record profits and the workers want their fair share. They deserve higher wages, better benefits, and long-term job security.”
At the rally, Aramayo announced that a strike authorization vote will be called by the end of June if the union contract is not settled.
Contact: Lynette Ng, [email protected], 413-275-8195
UNITE HERE Local 26 represents workers in the hospitality industries of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Our members work in Boston and Providence’s best hotels, restaurants, and university dining halls in addition to the Boston Convention Centers, Fenway Park, and Logan International Airport. We clean hotel rooms, greet guests, and prepare and serve food for hundreds of thousands of travelers to Boston and the northeast. UNITE HERE is the hospitality workers’ union in the U.S. and Canada, representing over 300,000 workers in hotels, gaming, restaurants and food service, airports, and more.