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Rhode Island casino workers ready to strike for health care

By staff |
May 31, 2017
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Casino workers rally at the Rhode Island state house for decent contract. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Providence, RI - Over 100 Twin River Casino workers gathered inside the Rhode Island state house on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 30. The workers, who are members of UNITE HERE Local 26, gathered there to announce that they are prepared to strike if necessary to win a fair contract. The union represents nearly 400 food and beverage workers at the Lincoln, Rhode Island casino.

The Twin River workers have been faced with concessionary demands from the company, despite continuing increases in gaming revenues and large payouts to shareholders. The most noteworthy element of the management attack has been a unilateral cut to the workers' health insurance. The union reports that this change could lead to a tripling of out-of-pocket costs for the workers.

During the rally, workers held up placards containing hundreds of photos of Twin River workers who have said that they are ready to strike. Union member Julie Procaccini told the crowd gathered inside the state house that the health insurance cuts have forced her to get a second job. "I don’t want to strike, but when Twin River wants to nickel and dime my family into poverty, you better believe I’m going to fight back," said Procaccini.

Members of Teamsters Local 251 stood with the Twin River workers during the rally and pledged to continue standing with them. Business Agent Matt Maini of Local 251 drew loud cheers from the crowd when he denounced the "corporate greed" displayed by Twin River management. Maini declared "if Local 26 walks out, Local 251 stands with you, and we're going to honor your strike!"

The rally closed with the halls of the state house echoing with chants promising Twin River management that, until workers have a fair contract, they will have "no peace."