Sports Arena Employees’ LIUNA Local 137, which represents the mutuel clerks at the Meadowlands Racetrack, announced Tuesday that its executive board has voted unanimously to approve a modified collective bargaining agreement extension offered by real estate executive Jeffrey Gural, who is seeking to take over the track.
The agreement honors terms and conditions of the tellers’ current contract at the racetrack, and extends worker protection, job security and seniority rights through Dec. 31, 2013, according to the union.
“The terms require a significant sacrifice from our membership, including a 20 percent wage reduction, but fends off the threatening language proposed that would have undermined our seniority rights, and protects our jurisdiction at the 35-year-old racetrack,” said Robert Liguori, business manager of Local 137, in a statement.
Ray Pocino, vice president and regional manager of Laborers’ eastern region — who is said to have been instrumental in working out a deal between the tellers’ union and Gural — also said in a statement that given the current economic climate, the uncertain future of horse racing in New Jersey and the ability of Gural to make the racetrack profitable, “we believe we need to work with our new private owner to begin a partnership on the future of horse racing at the Meadowlands Racetrack.”
The board’s action will retain 250 of the union’s jobs and some 22,000 jobs in the standardbred horseracing industry in the state, according to Local 137.
The union and Gural could not immediately be reached for additional comment.
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