Churchill Downs Valets Decide Towards Strike on Kentucky Derby Day

Saturday May 1, 2021 |
Churchill Downs Valets Decide Towards Strike on Kentucky Derby Day

Posted on: April 30, 2021, 07:20h.

Final current on: April 30, 2021, 09:39h.

UPDATE (12:30 am ET 5/1) – In an emailed statement early Saturday early morning, SEIU Neighborhood 541 announced the valets it represents would go to do the job at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, ending any risk of a strike for now.

With the world’s eyes on the Kentucky Derby, we want to thank anyone for their support in the battle for livable wages, dignity, and regard for the valets at Churchill Downs,” the union’s statement read through. “The valets have designed the incredibly hard and selfless determination to set this event and the complete local community over them selves, and the management of SEIU Neighborhood 541 respects that decision. The valets will carry on to do the job the Kentucky Derby with the same motivation, enthusiasm, and commitment that they always have, and this union will carry on to assistance them in their pursuit of a reasonable and just agreement.”

Earlier Documented (10:20 pm ET 4/30) — If the valets at Churchill Downs choose to strike on Saturday, they won’t be on your own. On Friday night time, the eve of the Kentucky Derby, the track’s pari-mutuel clerks stated they would not cross their union colleagues’ picket line.

Churchill Downs strike
Supporters of valets doing work at Churchill Downs stood on the sidewalk in entrance of the Louisville observe Friday afternoon handing out leaflets to patrons moving into the observe. The paper educated the public that valets, who have not had a deal with the track considering the fact that Oct, may strike on Saturday. (Graphic: Greater Louisville Central Labor Council/Facebook)

With the clerks honoring a probable Derby Day strike, it implies the Louisville monitor could be devoid of 200 clerks to just take wagers on its most important day of the calendar year.

“The parimutuel clerks stand in comprehensive solidarity with valets who have been patiently waiting around for a fair contract since past slide,” reported Don Vest, government board president for Service Employees International Union Area 541. The local represents about two dozen valets who function at the observe.

SEIU officials gave the regional permission to strike before this 7 days.

The valets have been doing work without the need of a deal considering that their agreement with the monitor expired final October. The very same union signifies the valets at Churchill-owned Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. That agreement expired a 12 months in the past, just months immediately after Churchill took about possession from JACK Amusement.

Valets prepare jockeys and horses for races and also just take care of saddles and jockey devices. As racing is seasonal by spot, a lot of of them get the job done many distinctive tracks throughout the calendar year.

As they remained on the career Friday, users of the Better Louisville Central Labor Council stood outside the keep track of and handed out leaflets to patrons entering the track. The leaflets encouraged enthusiasts what could transpire if a strike normally takes spot.

Churchill Downs Asks to Fulfill Upcoming Week

Churchill Downs offered the valets, pronounced with a hard “t,” what was thought of a best-and-closing deal provide previous week. Officers from the track did not meet with union reps on Friday. Nonetheless, track officials reportedly informed the union they would be prepared to go on conversations upcoming 7 days.

Union users turned down that overture.

Churchill Downs’ offer to fulfill future 7 days without agreeing to use a mediator, and with no assurances that they will essentially go on any of their proposals, is unacceptable and insulting, especially when they canceled our very last conference abruptly and refused to admit our provide to finalize a offer,” SEIU Area 541 member Ronnie Shelton said in a statement.

Monitor reps declined to remark on the pari-mutuel clerks’ determination on Friday night.

Sides Disagree on Wages, Pension, Staffing

There are a number of concerns that need to have to be resolved amongst the valets and Churchill Downs.

To start with is spend. The valets want the similar level at both equally Churchill Downs and Turfway. They want a three-calendar year deal commencing at $120 per working day. Presently, they make $109 every day at Churchill and $16.77 an hour at Turfway. The organization has supplied wages at Churchill to stay the same for the first calendar year and for 25-cent hourly raises at Turfway.

The valets also want Churchill to improve contributions to the workers’ pension fund. At Turfway, valets get $5 a working day toward their retirement profit, a contribution that has not transformed in 22 many years. Keep track of officials have not proposed any transform in retirement, but they have supplied an enhance in vacation accrual.

In addition, valets want Churchill to assurance staffing at specified concentrations, including 13 for most racing times and 20 for the Breeders’ Cup.

Churchill Downs has explained they have no intention of cutting down staffing for valets. On the other hand, they mentioned that is contingent on the variety of horses that run at the monitor.

The corporation also famous in a assertion earlier this 7 days that the fork out it offered would have built the valets the ideal-paid out among the tracks with equivalent racing schedules in the area. It also has presented particular pay prices for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.

They also say that valets have prospects to get paid by jockeys for extra function, and that profits will improve many thanks to the boosts in purses for the spring fulfill.

Company officers have also claimed union responses about the observe building revenues of much more than 41 billion previous year were being deceptive simply because Churchill Downs Inc. noted a internet loss of just about $82 million previous 12 months.

Potential Influence on Derby Betting

Though enterprise officials would not remark, the disruption caused lack of pari-mutuel clerks to choose wagers could curtail on-observe betting for the Kentucky Derby, conveniently the largest day of the year for Churchill Downs.

Having said that, on-keep track of wagering only represents a portion of the total handle. In 2019, when a document $250.9 million was wagered on the Derby Day card, just $21.3 million was bet at the track.

Churchill Downs also features banking companies of ATM-like automatic devices to acquire wagers, and the observe could stimulate admirers to bet on races applying the TwinSpires innovative-deposit wagering (ADW) on the internet system. On the other hand, ADW wagers would have an affect on how considerably cash horsemen acquire from the observe. The horsemen obtain a considerably much larger share of the takeout from wagers produced at the track.