Sun, unions strike Mass. deal

Mohegan Sun has reached agreements that ensure that the $1.3 billion resort casino it's proposing in Revere, Mass., would be built by union workers.

In a statement released Sunday, Mohegan Sun also said it has taken steps to facilitate the unionization of the casino's permanent workforce. It said is entering into a memorandum of understanding to create "neutrality agreements" with such unions as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Teamsters, the United Auto Workers and Laborers' Local.

In neutrality agreements, employers agree to support union attempts to organize workers.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which will issue casino licenses, has required that applicants forge such agreements to ensure "labor harmony," said Chuck Bunnell, the Mohegan Tribe's chief of staff. Wynn Resorts, Mohegan Sun's competition for the sole Greater Boston casino license to be awarded this spring, has reached similar labor deals in connection with Wynn's Everett project, Bunnell said.

Mohegan Sun has signed a Project Labor Agreement with the Metropolitan Boston Building Trades Council and the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, stipulating that the casino would be built with union labor.

"Mohegan Sun has a strong culture of taking great care of its employees, and we're pleased to have reached this agreement," said Mitchell Etess, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority's chief executive officer. "A Mohegan Sun resort casino in Revere will bring thousands of good union jobs and a boost in economic development and tourism to the area."

The Revere project would create some 2,500 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent ones, Mohegan Sun has said.

Mohegan Sun Massachusetts, as the Revere project is being called, would be built on land owned by the Suffolk Downs horse racing track. The project is subject to approval by Revere voters in a local referendum Feb. 25.

None of the more than 6,000 workers employed at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville is unionized. The United Auto Workers solicited interest among Mohegan Sun's table-games dealers in 2012, but the organizing effort never proceeded to a vote.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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