Casino workers ask lawmakers to keep jobs in mind
By Matt Mikus firstname.lastname@example.org February 6, 2013 9:44AM
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:40AM
INDIANAPOLIS — Employees of the Majestic Star Casino traveled to Indianapolis on Tuesday, meeting with many of their legislators to remind them of one thing.
Remember those who work in the casino.
With Senate Bill 528 that would return up to $235 million of state tax revenues to casinos, and Senate Bill 585 would allow the Majestic Star to build a land-based casino and give up the second casino operating license. It also would give the city of Gary a number of other economic provisions.
Members of the Unite Here Local 1, a hospitality workers union, talked to lawmakers from Northwest Indiana to remind them that the legislation should help with economic development for the region.
“We are trying to stress that we don’t want people to forget the workers,” said Jeri Elliot, an employee at the casino. “Just keep the money here in the state, and when you reinvest, reinvest in the jobs.”
In general, Elliot said the two bills in the Senate would help the gaming industry, both in Gary and throughout the state.
But with casinos employing 3,300 fewer workers in Indiana than 10 years ago, she hopes the casinos remember the workers when they decide to reinvest what many call the casino “bailout.”
“We just hope that they listen to us today, and not forget about us,” Elliot said. “We live in these cities, and we want to see them prosper.”