Encore Boston Harbor Strike Authorized, Deadline Set For June 30

Written By Connor Grootenhuis on June 22, 2023
Encore Boston Harbor workers authorize strike, set deadline for June 30, from playma.com

It’s official.

Workers at Encore Boston Harbor have voted to authorize a strike. In addition, a strike deadline of midnight on June 30 has been set.

If no agreement is reached by the end of the month, the first organized walkout for one of the Massachusetts casinos will commence.

98% of workers support strike

The strike vote was held on Wednesday in Charlestown, and official results were announced early Thursday morning. In total, 98% of union workers are in support of a strike.

Earlier this week, EBH housekeeper Ritza Mendieta told PlayMA in an interview, “We don’t want to strike. But we have no choice.”

According to UNITE HERE Local 26 representatives, if the June 30 deadline passes without a deal, workers will walk out and form picket lines 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition, members of Teamsters Local 25 have also promised to refuse to deliver essential items to the facility. This could have a severe impact on Encore Boston Harbor’s ability to operate.

 PlayMA has requested comment from Encore Boston Harbor, but has yet to receive a response.

In the works since May

Encore Boston Harbor is owned and operated by Wynn Resorts. The collective bargaining agreement between Encore Boston Harbor and its employees expired in April.

In May, UNITE HERE Local 26 publicized its grievances with Wynn and Encore Boston Harbor in a series of statements. The union members are seeking better wages, as well as improvements in working conditions and 401k and health benefits. They are also asking for fairer attendance policies.

The union announced its intentions to hold a strike vote in late May.

Who are UNITE HERE Local 26 members?

UNITE HERE Local 26 serves members in the hotel, casino, airport and food service industries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Members of UNITE HERE Local 26 at Encore Boston Harbor include room attendants, cocktail servers, bar porters, cooks, dishwashers and public area cleaners. The union also includes drivers who belong to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 25.

UNITE HERE has experience coordinating strikes, as the union coordinated a 79-day strike at the Battery Wharf hotel in Boston in 2019.

Before that, UNITE HERE Local 26 led a 22-day strike at Harvard University in 2016, as well as a 46-day strike at Marriott Hotels in 2018.

Photo by AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
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Connor Grootenhuis

Connor Grootenhuis is the Managing Editor for PlayMA covering all things gambling and sports betting in Massachusetts. Based in the Bayou State of Louisiana, he is a lifelong sports fan who believes that every loss is a bad beat and every win is easy money.

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