New York Mutuel Clerks Ratify New Pact

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union of New York, division of mutuel employees, Local 3, has overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the New York Racing Association, averting a possible work stoppage or sick-out on Belmont Stakes day June 11.

The new contract runs through 2007, when NYRA's franchise to operate Belmont Park, Aqueduct, and Saratoga ends. The previous contract expired at the end of 2003, and the union had been working under the terms of that pact. The new contract awards the union a pay raise retroactive to that time.

Dozens of mutuel clerks staged a sick-out Preakness Stakes day May 21, leaving Belmont Park short of personnel. However, the union did not sanction that action, and actually called its workers to report to work that day, NYRA senior vice president Bill Nader said.

Those workers who reported to work by 3 p.m. Preakness day were suspended for five days. The 59 clerks who did not show up at work were terminated, Nader said.

Approximately 180 clerks voted on the new contract, with 70% ratifying the pact.