Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Beth Works casino being built by area union workers

12.20.07

January 2008 edition of the Union News

Beth Works casino being built by area union workers

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, December 13th- Union members not only will build the Sands Corporation Beth Works casino project but they will be hired for any future construction because of a labor agreement between the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Lehigh Valley and the developer.

According to William Newhard, President of the twenty local union member building tradesmen labor federation, the $800 million casino project in Bethlehem will be constructed with unionized labor, hired through local union halls in the Lehigh Valley.

He told the newspaper on December 17th the labor federation signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with Sands during the week of December 10th that will assure unionized workers will be hired for the project. The labor agreement does not have a expiration date.

The Sands Corporation is the project manager for the construction but Alvin Butz Inc. of Allentown was hired to assist.

The Sands Beth Works project calls for a casino with 3,000 slot machines to open in December 2008.

The project will include a twelve-story 300 room hotel, a concert and events center and a 200,000 square-foot shopping mall. That part of the project is scheduled to open in the summer of 2009.

Mr. Newhard told the newspaper, members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Union Local 542, have been preparing the job site for construction. IUOE members operate heavy construction equipment.

The Sands Beth Works is being constructed in South Bethlehem at the former site of the Bethlehem Steel Company steel mills.

The project includes saving around 20 buildings of the steel mill, the 1,500 foot long machine shop and the 20 story high blast furnaces.

Sands will incorporate the saved buildings into their resort and make them suitable for public display.
On December 20th, 2006, the seven member Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board voted to give a casino license to the Sands Beth Works project.

Two developers submitted proposals to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to obtain a license to build a casino in the Lehigh Valley. The other project was proposed for Allentown by the Aztar Corporation which operates casinos in Las Vegas and New Jersey.

Mr. Newhard said the labor federation supported the casino project from the beginning because it would create plenty of work for their members, and it has.

No comments so far



Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required but not displayed)