Just a few weeks after hundreds of food and beverage employees walked out briefly at the Twin River Casino for a strike against the company, valet workers are now threatening to leave their post. Over 200 food and beverage employees protested against the casino in early June due to healthcare plan cuts. It seems the valet employees also face healthcare cuts that they are none too happy with.
On Friday, the union announced that 42 unionized parking valets at Twin River had voted to authorize their leadership to call for a strike if contract negotiations with the management of the casino fall through. The call to authorize a strike was voted in approval unanimously on Tuesday of last week.
The Teamsters Local 251 provided a prepared statement on the matter which did not provide a deadline for a new agreement to be reached with the Lincoln gaming venue. Valets are currently paid only $4.50 an hour and proposed health insurance cuts for this position has been a major issue focused on during negotiation talks.
Patti Doyle is a spokeswoman for Twin River who spoke with the Providence Journal and declined to comment specifically on the matter but did note that negotiations are ongoing. Doyle stated that the company had been told a strike was imminent but if one was called, then Twin River would be prepared.
According to the union, the healthcare cuts that are being proposed are troubling due to the fact that they come at the same time as the venue is doing well financially. The company reportedly has enough cash to be able to provide a $20 million stock buyback plan.
The casino is reportedly on track to do better this year than 2016. State budget officials announced last November that the video terminals of the venue should take in $443.7 million this year which would be just more than the $444.1 million earned in 2016.