Unite Here Local 54 Says Sugar House Casino Spied on Employees

An April 2, 2014 "Sip In" held by union organizers at Sugar House casino. Photo by Jini Kades

An April 2, 2014 “Sip In” held by union organizers at Sugar House casino. Photo by Jini Kades

Jared Shelley wrote for the Philadelphia Business Journal yesterday about a complaint filed in November with the US National Labor Review Board, on behalf of employees at Sugar House in Philadelphia who are members of the Unite Here Local 54  union committee. The complaint alleges that the casino management used video surveillance equipment and security personnel to keep tabs on the activities of a group Sugar House employees who have been trying to organize at the casino.

Unite Here 54, which represents workers within the casinos of Atlantic City and South Jersey, and local activists have been attempting to unionize Sugar House employees since shortly after legalized gambling came to Philadelphia in 2007. Harrah’s, in Chester, is the only unionized casino in the area.


The substance of the complaint, the full text of which is embedded below, alleges that “beginning on or around August 2011 until on or around August 2014 [the Sugar House instructed] its security officers to engage in surveillance of Union committee persons while they were working and while they were not working. The security officers did in fact engage in such surveillance.”

The casino has denied the allegation, reports the Journal.



About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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