PBA Tells NJ Cops Not to Go to Tropicana

The police union in New Jersey is asking its members to boycott the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City

Don't stop at the Trop.

That's the message from a major New Jersey police union to its members, asking them not to patronize the Tropicana Casino and Resort when the group holds its convention at a different casino next month.

The New Jersey Policemen's Benevolent Association is holding its convention at Bally's Atlantic City in March. But president Anthony Wieners told The Press of Atlantic City he wants cops to stay away from the Trop because it has declared an impasse with its own unionized workers and intends to end their pension plan. The casino plans to make the payments that would have gone to the pension plan either directly to workers or to their 401(k) accounts.

Local 54 of the Unite-HERE casino union is asking groups that have booked events at the Tropicana to take their business elsewhere.

“This is in support of the Local 54 and our union brothers and sisters, and we feel as a labor union, we should be supportive,” Wieners said.

The police union is holding its convention from March 4-9 at Bally's. The group estimates it will bring 2,500 officers and $1 million worth of spending to Atlantic City.

“The Tropicana wants to step outside of the long tradition of providing a pension to workers, and they're going to pay the price,” Local 54 president Bob McDevitt said.

Tropicana president Tony Rodio said the union is hurting its own members by scaring business away from the casino. But he said the Tropicana will stick to its plan to implement what it calls its last, best offer - with or without union approval.

“We're not going to sacrifice long-term financial stability for short-term peace with the Local 54,” he said.

The state PBA is returning its convention to Atlantic City after a one-year absence. Last year it took its business to the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut to protest the layoff of 60 police officers by the city of Atlantic City.

Local 54 has used the tactic of persuading large groups to avoid a particular casino before. Last summer, during a contract dispute with Resorts Casino Hotel, it persuaded at least three convention groups to cancel and take their business elsewhere. The union has since declared a truce with Resorts as it attempts to work out a contract deal with them.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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