SF Chronicle: San Pablo Casino workers irked over no raises

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Casino San Pablo might be drawing all aces these days, but luck may have run out for its workers.

Cocktail waitresses, bartenders, floor walkers and other union members are locked in a contract stalemate with the tribe that owns the booming East Bay gambling hub.

At issue: the 350-member tribe earned over $100 million last year on gaming revenues, yet is refusing raises to its employees, whose average salaries are $9.50 an hour.

“It seems like they’re turning their back on us,” Isidoro Saravia-Ramos, 58, a dishwasher at the casino for 10 years, said through a translator. “We want the casino to succeed, but we as workers need to succeed, too.”

The tribe offered a contract to its 200 union workers in May that included no raises and deep cuts in health insurance and other areas. New employees, for example, would start at 2002 wages and not be eligible for health insurance for a year.

Only four union members voted yes on the contract. The tribe then petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for help moving forward, but meanwhile negotiations with Unite Here Local 2850 remain at a standstill and tensions are high. Read the full article.