Encore Boston Harbor and its workers threatening to strike have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract. The June 30 deadline for a strike has been suspended.
According to a representative of the union Encore workers belong to, UNITE HERE Local 26, the union members will vote to ratify the proposed contract on Friday, June 30. The previous collective bargaining agreement contract expired in April.
When the agreement was reached
Union negotiators and Wynn Resorts, which owns EBH, worked long hours on Wednesday to hammer out a deal to avoid a work interruption. The union, which represents service workers such as cocktail waitresses, cleaning personnel, dishwashers, cooks, and others, was seeking an increase in wages, better working conditions and increased access to benefits.
The union argued that the workers deserved a five-star contract for working at a five-star resort. EBH is the only casino resort in the Boston area. It’s located in Everett, and opened in 2019.
According to a statement Thursday morning from UNITE HERE, the tentative agreement achieves all of the union’s goals.
‘We congratulate Encore Boston Harbor’
“We congratulate Encore Boston Harbor for showing leadership in the hospitality industry and bargaining a contract that guarantees workers at the resort will have excellent wages and benefits,” union president Carlos Aramayo said in the statement. “We are glad that a strike will be avoided and that a spirit of partnership has prevailed. Our members are excited to continue providing five-star service to the resort’s guests with a five-star contract.”
Encore Boston Harbor employs more than 1,000 members of UNITE HERE, which also has members in Rhode Island. The deal between Wynn and the union avoids a strike which would have been the first among the casinos in Massachusetts.
The tentative deal and expected ratification of a new contract with the union clears up one issue for EBH as it faces plans to expand. Last month, a public hearing was held to take comment on a proposal from Wynn to expand the casino and add new venues and more gaming space in Everett. That idea had met with some objection, some of it coming from members of UNITE HERE Local 26.