(LINCOLN, R.I.) – Teamster valets at Twin River Casino and Entertainment Center have voted unanimously to authorize a strike.
Despite years of growing revenue, Twin River is demanding deep cuts in the health care benefits of 42 employees who work as parking valets.
Twin River pays the valets, who are members of Teamsters Local 251, as little as $4.50 an hour plus tips. It took a public campaign by Teamster members and community allies three years ago to raise the lowest tier of wages from $2.89 an hour and to win affordable health care for the employees.
“Stripping low-wage workers of affordable health care is, to quote the President, mean,” said Matt Maini, a union representative with Local 251. “Washington got that message. Twin River Casino needs to hear it too.”
Twin River is thriving. Revenue is up. Twin River gave $20 million to its stockholders in a buyback last year.
“As a Rhode Islander, my tax dollars are used to build Twin River’s business. That money shouldn’t be used to attack my family and cut health care for me and my kids,” Corey Almeida said.
On June 27, 2017, Corey and his co-workers unanimously voted to authorize a strike.
“We’re hoping to reach a fair agreement. But we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to protect our families and the health of our kids,” said Chris Boss, a Teamster member at Twin River.
“We will take the message to the public and to the State House,” said Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer Matt Taibi. “Twin River is gambling that taxpayers think corporate profits are more important than children’s health care. We think that’s a losing bet.”