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“ […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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:   Malecky has been a regular customer […]


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…

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.”   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 […]

Casino Workers Picket on Pegoraro

In April 2017, Northwest Indiana Casino workers picketed outside Ameristar Casino with signs urging customers to boycott Ameristar and “Tell Mike Pegoraro to Boycott Ameristar Casino.”…

Open letter to individuals looking to play in the Heartland Poker Tour at Ameristar, East Chicago:

The Heartland Poker Tour is a high profile event for Ameristar East Chicago. Before you consider playing in the tour, you should know that the servers, bar staff, and housekeepers at Ameristar Casino have called for a boycott of the casino because the casino has not settled a contract with them since 2013. Now Ameristar […]

Union distributes fliers about Bryan Chiappatti at local grocery stores

Bryan Chiappetti has been a regular customer at Ameristar Casino and has not yet committed to boycotting the casino. Recently, members of UNITE HERE passed out fliers to customers at Chicagoland grocery stores which sell Chiappetti Meats about the labor dispute at Ameristar and Mr. Chiappetti’s involvement.

Legal Update: Ameristar’s Appeal “Dismissed Without Prejudice”

UPDATE: Last year Ameristar appealed a trial court decision in which it lost against UNITE HERE Local 1. That appeal has now been “dismissed without prejudice.”   You may remember the lawsuit.  Ameristar filed the suit against Local 1 in connection with our communications with regular customers of Ameristar to let them know that Ameristar […]

More than A Dozen New Endorsements

UNITE HERE Local 1 and the workers at Ameristar Casino would like the thank the following local business for endorsing the boycott: Alberto A Jimenez MD, East Chicago, IN     Ana’s Beauty Salon, Whiting, IN Big Mama’s, Whiting, IN Clipper Tavern, Whiting, IN     Daily Care Salon, East Chicago, IN     Grillers, […]

United Steelworkers Reject Ameristar Discount Offer

Today, the United Steelworkers REJECTED Ameristar Casino’s promotional discount in its sports bar for employees of U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal, and BP. The Steelworkers have long stood side by side with the women and men of Local 1[…]

Pinnacle’s Response

Recently, UNITE HERE Local 1 members contacted several customers of Ameristar Casino to encourage them to support the boycott the workers at Ameristar have called. Pinnacle Entertainment posted this flier for their employees to see.     Our members will continue the fight for a fair contract at Ameristar Casino by exercising our First Amendment […]

SUCCESS!!! Fisch Fundraiser

  Community members show support for two local Portage residents, Tim and Jessica Fisch. Tim Fisch was diagnosed with cancer last October. He and his wife, Jessica Fisch, are long-time residents of Northwest Indiana and will struggle to pay medical bills.   Tim and Jessica currently have health insurance through Jessica’s employer, Ameristar Casino. Tim […]

Contract Victories – Maintain Healthcare Coverage

Management and union members at Hollywood Casino in Joliet, IL and Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, IN have agreed to union contracts that keep the union health insurance plan which Ameristar Casino refuses to provide.   November 24th, 2015, union members at Hollywood Casino voted on and successfully ratified a 4 year contract which […]

Letters with Larry: Part 2

In 2008, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) suspended Dr. Larry Kinoshita DDS’s dental license for failure to file and/or pay his Illinois state income taxes. As of now, Dr. Kinoshita does not have a valid controlled substance license listed on the IDFPR website. Enclosed you will find a copy of a […]

Fundraiser for the Fisch’s

  In May of 2015, Ameristar Casino cut the union family health insurance plan for the members of UNITE HERE Local 1, including cocktail server and longtime union leader Jessica Fisch. Only months later, in October, Jessica’s husband, Tim, was diagnosed with cancer. Now they are struggling to pay for the medical costs. Come help […]

Letters with Larry

A National Labor Relations Board unfair labor practice charge filed by Dr. Larry Kinoshita, DDS, against UNITE HERE Local 1 has been withdrawn.  Dr. Kinoshita refused to  use his consumer power to help the people who serve him regularly at Ameristar Casino, East Chicago, keep the affordable family health insurance plan they have had for […]

Legal Update: Ameristar Appeals

  UPDATE:  Ameristar Casino is appealing the court case they lost against UNITE HERE Local 1.  This is more evidence that it is willing to spend money on high-priced Chicago lawyers that it won’t spend on health-care for its workers.   You may have heard about the lawsuit that Ameristar filed against Local 1 in […]

Make the lucky choice. Boycott Ameristar!

At Majestic Casino, the baccarat tables are on the FIRST floor. At Blue Chip Casino, the baccarat tables are on the FIRST floor. At Ameristar Casino, baccarat is on the FOURTH floor[…]

Important Legal Victory in Ameristar Boycott

You may have heard about the lawsuit that Ameristar filed against UNITE HERE Local 1 in connection with our communications with you and other regular customers of Ameristar. We are pleased to report that the lawsuit, which was filed in Lake County Superior Court, was dismissed […]

Ameristar Poker Room Closes—Heartland Poker Tour to be played in Ballroom in August

Ameristar East Chicago has closed its poker room as of July 1, 2015. The poker room was just reopened in the summer of 2014 after $400,000 in renovations. Below is the text of a letter […]

Boycott! An American Tradition

A history lesson brought to you by Local 1, UNITE HERE, the hardworking men and women who are your bartenders, servers, bussers, and cleaners at Northwest Indiana Casinos.

National Rally to #BoycottAmeristar

Union leaders and hundreds of union members from across the country converged outside the Ameristar Casino grounds on June 23rd, to sound support for the ongoing boycott […]

Casino workers union sets up website chronicling Ameristar dispute (Northwest Indiana Times)

The union representing casino workers at three of Northwest Indiana’s casinos has created a website in an effort to engage the public in the union’s dispute with Ameristar Casino of East Chicago. […]

Local 1 Union Casino Organizing Committees Meet

Leaders from all four Indiana and Illinois casinos which are represented by Unite Here Local 1 met Tuesday June 2nd to review where we are in casino organizing and how Local 1 casinos are going to grow power in the Chicagoland casino industry in 2015! […]

Postcard Mailed to Ameristar Customers

[…] some customers of Ameristar received this postcard about Jessica Levin’s termination and one customer’s reaction to it.

Ameristar Workers Ask Guests Approaching Casino to “Turn Around!”

At the weekly pickets of the casino, workers have been asking guests driving up to the casino on Cline Avenue to turn around and take their business elsewhere.

#BoycottAmeristar BBQ Fridays Kick Off!

Friday the 15th of May saw the first of the Ameristar Boycott’s weekly Friday actions as we continue to fight for a fair contract that includes our union health insurance. Ameristar workers were joined by members of UNITE HERE and other Northwest Indiana unions. […]

Former Customers Speak Up For Ameristar Workers

After Ameristar workers reached out to their community asking for a boycott of the casino, customers began to respond—saying they wouldn’t be back until a fair contract was settled. Two former customers share why they are boycotting […]

Ameristar Workers Attend East Chicago City Council

Ameristar buffet server, Dawn Silvas, addressed the East Chicago City Council at their meeting on May 11, 2015. After the meeting, Dawn and other Ameristar workers spoke with many city councilors and members of the public […]

Ameristar Worker’s message on health insurance enrollment

Starting May 1st, Ameristar stripped union casino workers of the affordable family health insurance plan they have had for years. Instead, they are being left with Pinnacle Entertainment’s health insurance plan. While enrolling, workers are sending the following letter to Anthony Sanfilippo, CEO of Pinnacle. The message is clear: Ameristar workers will continue to fight, […]

Picket at Ameristar

Dozens of hearty souls braved the cold, rain and wind on Saturday April 25th to picket outside Ameristar. Casino workers were joined by union brothers and sisters from the striking BP Oil Workers, the Northwest Indiana Federation of Labor, and downtown Chicago hotels. The servers, bartenders, cleaners, and bussers of the casino are protesting the […]

Shop Steward Terminated

On April 17 Jessica Levin, a 6-year bartender and shop steward at Ameristar, was fired for calling customers about the boycott. Hundreds of people have declared their support for Jessica by sharing her story on social media. You can share it too! Click here to share the image on your own Facebook page.

Picket at Ameristar

Ameristar workers and allies picketed on April 10th at the casino. Casino servers, bussers and cleaners asked guests driving up to the casino to turn around and go to Majestic Star or Blue Chip, where workers have a fair contract. Cars also were invited to pull over to talk to Ameristar workers. Workers shared with […]

Ameristar Workers Reach Out To Customers About Labor Dispute

The Ameristar worker organizing committee wants to make sure their customers know to stay away from the casino until a fair contract is settled. We are reaching out to their longtime customers through letters, postcards, and phone calls to tell them […]

UNITE HERE Representative Comments on the Campaign Against Ameristar (Casino News Daily)

(Casino News Daily) UNITE HERE, the labor union that is representing employees of Ameristar Casino, has been making the headlines recently mainly because of the protests organized against the idea of Ameristar executives to cut down on employees’ health insurance plan.

Union representatives explain casino boycott (Notre Dame Observer)

Representatives of UNITE HERE, the labor union representing Ameristar Casino employees, described their campaign against the casino during the most recent Labor Cafe discussion sponsored by the Higgins Labor Program

Ameristar Committee Members Attend Indiana Gaming Commission Meeting

On March 19, Jessica Levin, a bartender at Ameristar and union shop steward, addressed the Indiana Gaming Commission, alerting them to the boycott she and her coworkers called earlier that month. Click here to read the testimony.

Northwest Indiana Casino Workers Lobby in Indianapolis

On March 19, workers from Ameristar, East Chicago, were joined by their union brothers and sisters in Indianapolis on a day of lobbying their legislators about House Bill 1540, which addresses gaming in the state. We delivered a letter, which you can read below, to several of our legislators and sponsors and authors of the […]

Union Workers at Ameristar Launch Boycott of Casino

On March 4th, workers from East Chicago’s Ameristar Casino launched an official boycott of Ameristar. Servers, bussers and cleaners are asking customers not to spend a penny at Ameristar until the casino settles a union contract that maintains workers’ affordable family health insurance plan that they have had for years. Ameristar Casino is owned by […]

Union Employees at Ameristar Casino call for boycott as negotiations continue (Northwest Indiana Times)

(Northwest Indiana Times) Ameristar Casino employees represented by Unite Here Local 1 rally Wednesday for preservation of their health benefits and call for a boycott of the casino at the casino in East Chicago.

Ameristar Casino workers call for boycott (Chicago Tribune)

(Chicago Tribune) Union employees at Ameristar Casino are urging patrons to boycott the East Chicago boat until they reach a contract settlement with owner Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. that includes retention of their current health insurance plan.