Foxwoods Casino is one of two facilities that dominate the landscape of Connecticut gambling. Workers at the casino appear on board with helping the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe push for continued success over the next few years, too.
The casino and members of a local union representing workers at the casino have agreed to a new labor contract. The agreement leads to some enhanced benefits for the workers. They did not get everything they were pushing for, however.
Foxwoods Casino, UAW agree to terms
According to Brian Hallenbeck of The Day, members of Local 2121 of the United Auto Workers voted 420-13 to approve the contract earlier this week. Nearly 800 people who work at Foxwoods near Ledyard, Connecticut are members of Local 2121.
The contract runs through the final months of 2025. Additionally, its effective date retroactively became Jan. 1, 2020, upon ratification. That means Foxwoods workers are in line for some back pay. They also secured other enhancements like making part-time employees eligible for benefits.
Through the new contract, Local 2121 members obtained access to a union health insurance plan that union members believe is an upgrade from the coverage Foxwoods provided as well. While the negotiations on the contract took longer than expected, the tribal casino held its ground on one issue.
Casino refuses smoking ban request
Local 2121 members pushed for Foxwoods to permanently ban smoking in the gaming areas. However, Hallenbeck reports that the union’s lead negotiator said Foxwoods was unwilling to make that change.
Jason Guyot, Foxwoods president and CEO, told Hallenbeck that smoking is currently impermissible inside the casino. However, the lack of a permanent ban means that could change at any time. As a tribal casino operating on sovereign land, Foxwoods is not subject to Connecticut law on indoor smoking.
Guyot shared with Hallenbeck that he is content with the new contract despite the disagreement over the smoking policy.
“It’s taken a long time,” Guyot stated. “We continued to work during COVID but really in the last 12 months, we’ve honed in on it. The sides came to a mutually beneficial agreement that supports our team members and can take us forward.”
It’s uncertain how soon negotiations will begin on the next contract ahead of the 2025 expiration date. For the moment, though, both sides can collaborate on how to make Foxwoods more successful.