Twin River Casino workers vote to strike
Lincoln, RI – Nearly 400 food and beverage workers at Rhode Island’s Twin River Casino announced Wednesday afternoon, June 7, that they have voted to authorize a strike. The vote followed a rally in the Rhode Island state house last week, where Twin River workers announced their readiness to strike. The workers are members of UNITE HERE Local 26. The union’s bargaining committee announced that the results of the vote were 327 voting to authorize a strike to just 5 ballots cast in opposition.
Julie Procaccini, a banquet captain at Twin River and a bargaining committee member, said that the union is giving the company until 3:59 a.m. on Friday to meet the workers’ demands. If an agreement is not reached by this deadline, the Twin River workers will be on strike beginning at 4 a.m.
One of the primary demands being made by the workers is affordable health care coverage. The casino made a unilateral change to health insurance benefits earlier this year, which resulted in significant increases in costs for workers. Beverage server Alexis Maciel commented on the unaffordable health insurance by saying, “If I were to put me and my daughter on Twin River’s health care, it would cost up to $1200 a month – as much as rent or a mortgage. I’d have to move my family to afford Twin River’s health care.”
If the Twin River workers strike, it will be the first strike of UNITE HERE members in Rhode Island since 1980.