In a video interview with City & State, Hotel Trades Council President Peter Ward predicted that the recent arbitration ruling regarding the union’s contract with Genting, the owner of the Resorts World Casino in Queens, will serve as a model for future casinos that will be built in New York State if voters approve the ballot proposal legalizing casino gambling in Tuesday’s election.
“I am quite confident that if we got to the point that we had to repeat this process in another county—let’s just say Sullivan County, for argument’s sake—that the same arbitrator or an arbitrator of similar quality would arrive at substantially identical decisions,” Ward said.
“That may not mean necessarily that at the end of the day that employees will make $30 an hour—they may make $25 an hour. But, that is a reflection of the cash flow, it’s a reflection of the neighborhoods they live in and the cost of living. It’s a reflection of profitability and ability to pay,” he added.
Under the arbitration agreement, wages at Resorts World will immediately increase from an average of $10.15 an hour to an hourly average of $19.91, and will continue to go up to an average of $28.54 per hour by 2016.
Ward also discussed the Hotel Trades Council’s agenda for 2014, specifically calling for more affordable housing in New York City in exchange for the air rights that have been given to developers in recent years.
Watch the entire interview here: