Ocean Downs Employees Demand Higher Wages - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean Downs Employees Demand Higher Wages

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Casino at Ocean Downs workers picketing for wage increases (Photo: WBOC News) Casino at Ocean Downs workers picketing for wage increases (Photo: WBOC News)

BERLIN, Md.- Casino at Ocean Downs employees are demanding higher wages as casino revenue continues to rise. Angry employees and union representatives started picketing outside the casino Thursday evening. 

Every employee at the casino except security and managers fall under the local union, Unite Here Local 7. Mishy Leiblum, who is the union's lead representative, said every year since Ocean Downs has been open it has reported increased gaming revenue to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission.

"The Oceans Downs Casino has been open now for five years and every single year they've reported increased revenue. We don't intend on backing down until the company offers decent wage increases," Leiblum explained.

Leiblum said since last February the casino reported a 17.1 percent increase in revenue.

Ocean Downs employees walking the picket line said they're outraged they're not being paid fairly. Amanda Dorsey, who is a waitress, said the pay doesn't even cover the cost of basic living.

"It hurts to see that hourly wages have not gone up. I work in a tipped position; I'm out here fighting for all my fellow co-workers who deserve a better job and better wages. I work two jobs just to pay the basics," Dorsey said. 

Joe Cavilla, general manager at Casino at Ocean Downs, said in a statement to WBOC in part, "The casino employs 85 percent of its employees year-round even though revenue drops nearly 42 percent during the off-season. We offer competitive salaries and annual raises."

Union officials and employees picketing said voters in Maryland approved gaming with the promise of good jobs and they want Casino at Ocean Downs to live up to that promise with a fair increase in wages. 

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