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'We're Serious With This': Strike Of Casino Workers In Atlantic City Expected Amid Wage Negotiation

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- About 6,000 workers at four Atlantic City casinos are preparing to go on strike Friday morning, ahead of a historically busy Fourth of July weekend.

The workers, who are members of UNITE HERE Local 54, include housekeepers, bartenders, catering staff and cooks at The Borgata, Caesar's, Harrah's and Tropicana.

The union is demanding higher wages, claiming current salaries are lower compared to salaries at similar jobs in the market. Union representatives believe higher wages could attract more workers, which would alleviate an ongoing casino labor shortage.

Gloria Rosario, a chef at The Borgata, said all week customers at the buffet line have been coming up to her, expressing anxiety about the potential strike.

"They say, 'Oh my gosh, a strike. Are you serious? We're not coming then,'" Rosario recalled. "We're serious with this [strike]. We're really serious and I believe that we deserve it."

Greg Silvestri and his wife stayed at the Borgata earlier this week, and he said he is glad he checked out before the weekend.

"If I was staying here this weekend, and I wasn't getting the service I thought I was being entitled to, I might check out and go somewhere else," Silvestri said.

Art Drummond was born and raised just a few blocks from Caesars. He said with the amount of money casinos bring in from the gambling floor and hotel rooms, he felt the workers aren't getting the money they deserve.

"If you weren't willing to give me an equal rate of pay, I think people should be notified to not patronize that casino," Drummond said.

CBS3 requested interviews with the owners of the four casinos to inquire about how customers will be affected by a potential strike.

The Borgata declined CBS3's request for comment, while Caesar's Entertainment, which owns Caesars, Harrah's and Tropicana, did not respond to a request for comment by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

CBS3's Jan Carabeo contributed to this report.

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