Penn National can settle a union contract at Ameristar Casino

In 2018, Penn National Gaming, Inc, began operating Ameristar Casino, East Chicago.

Penn National and UNITE HERE have successfully reached union contracts at other Penn National-operated casinos, including Hollywood Casino in Joliet, IL.

Call Penn National at (610) 373-2400 and tell them to settle a fair contract with Ameristar Casino East Chicago workers.

New NIALF President Affirms Commitment to Boycott

Earlier this year Northern Indiana Area Labor Federation (formerly Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor) welcomed Dennis McCafferty as its new President.


McCafferty reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to the Ameristar Boycott by sending the following letter to the General Manager of Ameristar, Matt Schuffert.



Thank you, McCafferty!

Chinatown Bus Stop

We’re out here talking to Ameristar customers, asking them to boycott!
If you see us fliering the Ameristar bus in Chinatown, come say “hi” and show your support!

Information on calls seeking help at Ameristar Casino

UNITE HERE Local 1 analyzed East Chicago Police and Fire Department records of calls seeking help at Ameristar Casino. We found that 237 calls seeking help at Ameristar were made during a one-year period from Sept. 1, 2016 to Sept. 1, 2017.

The records showed:

  • 42 calls for “medical assistance”
  • 23 reports of a “disturbance“
  • 8 reports of “H&R accidents”
  • 6 reports of theft
  • 3 reports of a “fight”
  • 1 report of a “man with a gun”

We don’t know how the Police and Fire Department responded, or what the officers discovered if they did.

AFT 943 – Thank You!

On Tuesday April 10, 2018, Donna Calhoun, a UNITE HERE Local 1 member and employee at Hollywood Casino Joliet, spoke at a membership meeting of AFT Local 943, the Southwest Suburban Federation of Teachers, about the boycott of Ameristar Casino, East Chicago. Several Local 943 members self-identified as casino customers and pledged to boycott Ameristar Casino.


Donna Calhoun, Local 1 Member and employee at Hollywood Casino Joliet

Donna encouraged union members to come to Hollywood Casino Joliet, Majestic Star Casino Gary, or Blue Chip Casino Michigan City where Local 1 members have union health insurance.

Thank you, AFT 943, for inviting UNITE HERE Local 1 to speak to your members!

Thank you Dwayne Rancifer Jr

Former Ameristar customer and current East Chicago business owner Dwayne Rancifer Jr supports the Ameristar workers!


Thursday March 8th, UNITE HERE Local 1 members, Brian Short and Steven Wyatt, visited Rancifer Jr at a restaurant he and his father operate, R & R Carribean Jerk in East Chicago.


After explaining that Pinnacle Entertainment had taken the union health insurance away from the workers at Ameristar, Rancifer Jr pledged to boycott Ameristar Casino!


Be sure to thank Dwayne Rancifer Jr for supporting the union workers at Ameristar next time you are in R & R Carribean Jerk.


left – Brian Short, Local 1 member; right – Steven Wyatt, Local 1 member

Free Shuttles to Union Casinos

Do you take the free shuttle to Ameristar Casino?

Just because you are boycotting Ameristar does not mean you can’t enjoy casinos with good union contracts and union healthcare!

Did you know you can take free rides to other casinos which have agreed to fair union contracts for their employees?

According to the Majestic Star Casino website, the free Majestic Star Casino shuttle leaves from 2734 S Wentworth Ave every hour between 7:30am and 11:30pm. It also stops at Clark and Archer near the CTA train line for Cermak-Chinatown.

According to the Blue Chip Casino website, call 2 hours in advance for a free South Shore Line ticket to and from Blue Chip. Call (219) 861-4840

Don’t go to Ameristar; make your plans to utilize the free services offered by Majestic Star and Blue Chip Casinos today!

Former Oak Forest, IL Mayor Malecky and Rockin Horse Saloon

On October 24th , 2017 UNITE HERE Local 1 urged the current alderman of Oak Forest, Illinois at the City Council meeting to reach out to the city’s former Mayor, James Malecky, and ask him to boycott Ameristar Casino. Below is a copy of what Local 1 said:


Oak Forest City Council Speech, October 24, 2017

Malecky has been a regular customer of Ameristar Casino and has not yet pledged to boycott Ameristar Casino which has been under boycott since March 2015.


Malecky is also a part-owner and President of The Rockin Horse Saloon in Orland Park, IL according to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.


Next time you stop by Rockin Horse, encourage Mr. Malecky to boycott Ameristar Casino!


As a part of the ongoing boycott of Ameristar Casino, Local 1 has begun reaching out on Facebook to people who people who have not yet pledged to boycott Ameristar until a union fair contract is settled. A fair contract would include the affordable family health insurance these employees have had in past contracts. See a picture of a recent Facebook post below.

Posted July 29, 2017

Will Bryan Chiappetti Boycott Ameristar?

On May 24, 2017, members of UNITE HERE Local 1 held a banner outside Ameristar Casino. The banner read “Tell Bryan Chiappetti to boycott Ameristar Casino.”

Members of UNITE HERE Local 1 Outside Ameristar Casino on May 24.


While UNITE HERE Local 1 members were outside Ameristar Casino on public property, the water sprinkler system was turned on. Local 1 members were not deterred and stood their ground. Watch the Facebook Live video.

Chiappetti has been a regular customer of Ameristar Casino, East Chicago, which has been under boycott since 2015. Members of UNITE HERE Local 1 have reached out to Chiappetti to ask him to support the boycott. Chiappetti has not yet signed a boycott pledge. Chiappetti Meats is now distributed by Strauss Brands.