NITRO, West Virginia (October 3, 2015) — Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Union, Local 14614-F8, voted again on Friday, Oct. 3, 2015 to authorize a strike against Mardi Gras Casino and Resort, after rejecting the Company’s modified Last, Best,and Final offer during an insurance re-opener. The members had rejected the Company’s previous proposal twice before.
The parties have been engaged in insurance negotiations since the first week of August. The Company’s previous offer included language that would eliminate the Union’s ability to bargain over future insurance changes and costs to the employees. After last week’s vote to reject the proposal and authorize a strike, the parties agreed to meet to continue negotiations. At that time, The Company modified their Last, Best, and Final offer. The company’s modified proposal addressed the Union’s concerns over the language, however, the Company did not change their proposed premium cost sharing amounts. The company’s proposal will increase the premium cost sharing from a 90/10% split to a 75/25% split. This will amount to an increase of over $1,100/year from what the employees currently pay.
The Union has continued to offer to share the premium increase with the Company 50/50, which would amount to a 80/20% premium cost sharing, but the Company rejected the offer. The Company has stated that they can afford the increases, however, they are unwilling to do so.
Throughout the process of negotiations, the Company has engaged in Unfair Labor Practices, including but not limited to threatening employees with retaliation, intimidation, and undermining the Union. The Union has filed Board charges with the National Labor Relations Board regarding these unlawful acts.
The strike is scheduled to begin at 5:00 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 5 unless the Union hears back from the Company that it is willing to continue to negotiate.
IMPORTANT UPDATE STRIKE DEADLINE EXTENDED
The parties will be meeting along with the federal mediator for further discussions and the strike deadline has been extended until the parties have concluded discussions.