ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Union negotiators met with management at several Atlantic City casinos Wednesday in an attempt to reach a new contract and avoid a threatened Friday strike.
Local 54 of the Unite Here union was in talks with representatives of Caesars Entertainment, which owns three of Atlantic City's nine casinos: Caesars, Harrah's and the Tropicana.
The union has set a deadline of 12:01 a.m. Friday to reach a new labor agreement with those casinos and with the Borgata, which is owned by MGM Resorts International.
"There's ample opportunity for us to get momentum in negotiations and follow that to an agreement," said Bob McDevitt, the union's president. "This is the time where it's really up to the companies. They know what our objectives are."
Iris Sanchez, a housekeeper at Caesar's, says it's been frustrating as they ask for higher wages.
"I was renting a two-bedroom for $800, now a two-bedroom is $1,500. And the $16 an hour we are making here is not enough," said Sanchez.
Members of Unite Here Local 54 voted earlier this month to authorize a strike for five casinos after their contract expired on June 1.
Service workers are asking for higher pay and better working conditions.
Hard Rock has a strike deadline of Sunday, July 3.
Two casinos, Bally's and Ocean, have reached so-called "me-too" agreements with the union, committing themselves to adopting the terms of contracts eventually reached with the larger casinos.
The city's last casino strike occurred in 2016, when a walkout against the Trump Taj Mahal led to its closure three months later. It has since reopened under new ownership as the Hard Rock.
The union has not yet negotiated with Resorts or the Golden Nugget. McDevitt said they are not in danger of being targeted by a work stoppage at this point, adding that once contracts are reached with larger casinos, the union will then approach Resorts and Golden Nugget.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.