For photos from the Meadowlands contact

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

As I Feared

After today's meeting at the Meadowlands, things still don't look encouraging for Local 137 changing their mind and ratifying the contract needed to keep the Meadowlands going.  All you need to do is read the statement I received. 
The actual statement from Jeff Gural regarding the situation is as follows:

"I met with Bob Ligouri, Head of the Tellers Union today. However, for reasons known only to themselves; six of the seven members of his negotiating committee boycotted the meeting. In addition to Mr. Ligouri, there was one member of the negotiating committee and three tellers who came on their own because they were concerned.

Personally, after all the work I have put into this I was highly insulted by the decision of six of the seven members of the negotiating committee to boycott the meeting. I think the fact that they chose to do so indicates that they are not really serious about collective bargaining and simply want to see the place closed for reason that make no sense.

I thought that Mr. Ligouri and the tellers that were there raised some valid questions, and I think I was able to answer those questions and reassure them that it was not our intention to change the existing work rules. I explained that I expected I would be able to retain most of the existing tellers between the new Meadowlands grandstand and the Bayonne facility, and I made it clear that as a private operator our interests were totally aligned. I showed them the new plans for the building and some of the marketing techniques that are successful at Tioga that we would apply to the Meadowlands.

The more business we do the more tellers we will need and it is in my economic interest to find a way to bring in new customers which can only work to the benefit of the tellers. Since six of the seven members of the negotiating committee boycotted the meeting I have no idea what the next step will be, however, I still remain optimistic that common sense will prevail."

I will admit Jeff Gural has done far more negotiating than I have ever done, but at this point optimism must be turning into wishful thinking.  Unless those from Local 137 who came today were 'wowed', I don't see how they will convince the remainder of their union leadership to revisit their prior decision not to vote on the contract.  It certainly seems there is prior bitterness within the union and when you are dealing with people who insist on burning bridges they are standing on, it seems all which remains to be done is watch them fall into the water and drown.

All I can say, is plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if the opposite happens.


Adlai said...

Sounds like nothing more than a good ol' fashioned power trip. For most of these members on the negotiating committee, this could be the only chance they get in their lifetime to ruin a way of life for thousands of other individuals. It's absolutely pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Geez, why does this not surprise me in the least bit. Sort of akin to the closing of the NYC OTBs whatever faint hopes existed would be quickly squashed.

I hope workers at the Big M who thought this meeting would be positive still sent their resumes out.

Bye Bye Big M. Does this also mean the closure of Favorites?

The_Knight_Sky said...

I have no words to describe the selfishness of some of these people. Jeff Gural is not the problem. I'd like to see the seven promise a meeting with The Guv and only six clerks show up and watch what happens.

Is there anyway to eliminate this one main obstacle and move forward and getting back on track? After all 95% of the deal is complete.

Pacingguy said...

Interesting question about Favorites. One would believe it would remain open as it is supposed to be part of the package deal for Monmouth Park.

In the past, for Favorites to remain open, the Meadowlands would have to race a certain number of days each year. With the Meadowlands apparently, heading for a shut down, one would think the number of dates would not be met, but in the bills that have passed, it is possible that restriction has been lifted or the fact the Meadowlands has been closed removes that barrier.