Union Laid the Groundwork for Good Casino, OTB Jobs on LI
Workers at Jakes 58 Casino in Islandia on Long Island began working under their first Local 237 contract earlier this year. These 140 members are involved in all aspects of the casino’s operations and include members of the Count/Drop team, Main Bankers, Cage Cashiers, Floor Attendants, Guest Services and Player Rewards, Security Officers, Security Officer EMTs, EVS Attendant Cleaners and EVS Attendant Heavy Cleaners. In addition to fair wages, full-time workers gained health benefits. Donny Strein, a Jake’s Security Officer said, "There's nothing better than having peace of mind knowing you're supported and respected by such a great union and the people who represent it. Thank you Local 237!”
Jake’s workers join more that 100 Suffolk Off Track Betting (OTB) workers who are long-time members of Local 237s Long Island Division. OTB members also recently ratified a contract that provides raises and retro pay. Catherine Rice is the Business Agent for OTB and Jake's members.
A few years ago, the future for workers in Long Island’s gambling industry did not look so bright. When Suffolk OTB filed for bankruptcy, Local 237 mobilized to save the OTB and the jobs that it provides.
The union, working at the state and local levels, helped to rescue OTB and open Suffolk County’s first video slot casino. Local 237 President Floyd explained, “Our union deployed our resources and used our political clout to save and create good Long Island jobs. Our OTB members have also made sacrifices. I’m pleased that we were able to negotiate a good contract that makes OTB workers whole and allows them to support themselves and their families. And I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome our newest members at Jake’s Casino into the Local 237 family!”
Local 237 Recording Secretary and Political Director Patricia Stryker added, “This proves the power we have as union members. Not only did we succeed in saving the jobs of Local 237 members, we created new ones and increased local tax revenues which benefits the entire community.”
Hercules Cornish went to work for the Housing Authority as a caretaker J in 1952 and retired 24 years later as a stores worker. He died the year following this interview, which was conducted in June 1999.
Originally I was from Harlem, but when I came out of the service in 1945 my wife had moved to the Bronx, so I moved there, too. I went to work for the New York City Housing Authority in 1952.