Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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Don’t cash paychecks, Trop workers told again

My Sunday column about new indignities suffered by Tropicana employees, including being told they had to wait two days to cash their Jan. 14 paychecks, spurred more than a dozen e-mails and phone calls, including several from disgruntled workers.

I just received a call from Culinary Secretary-Treasurer D. Taylor, who told me Tropicana workers reported to the union that they were unable to cash paychecks issued today.

Taylor remains irritated with Nevada gaming regulators, who so far have shown no inclination to take action against the Kentucky-based outfit that owns the Trop, Columbia Sussex, even after New Jersey gaming regulators yanked its Atlantic City casino license for incompetence and dishonesty.

"I guess they're still monitoring it," Taylor said, frustrated that regulators seem content to sit on the sidelines after the company thumbed its nose at another state's regulators and abuses its Nevada employees.

Among the e-mails I received, one Tropicana worker wrote:

"I've spent years wondering if today would be my last day on the job under Aztar's continuous threat to sell, and at the end of 2006 we thought Pinnacle would be our new owners. Under Pinnacle, we figured we had a year left before closure, but when Columbia Sussex outbid Pinnacle, we were excited at the prospect to stay open through deconstruction and construction ... that is, until Columbia actually got started with (its) plan in January, 2007. Hundreds got fired with no warning and no severance. So many of my friends, union and nonunion without jobs. Every day you could come in and sign on to your computer was a good day."

"This weekend, the Monte Carlo was on fire. Management wasted no time in assuring ... employees that each and every one of them would be paid throughout the closure until they can reopen. I was thinking, wow, I wonder what it's like to work for people like that. They actually care about their employees."

"So, as much as my head agrees with you, my heart is breaking. I need my job. I have a mortgage. So do all of us who are left here. The image of the industry is not being shaken by the small Tropicana, and we are hoping things get fixed and Kentucky will be moved to take care of all of its employees as if we were really human beings with lives."

"I can't sign this letter. I'm sure you understand."

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