For the first time since the advent of casino gambling here three years ago, state officials are seriously considering whether to bar a labor union from doing business with the casinos because of the union's alleged ties to organized crime.
Monitor correspondent Ward Morehouse III reports that the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, which licenses casinos and their employees, must decide if such action is merited in the wake of charges last week by the New Jersey attorney general's office that Local 54 of the Hotel, Restaurant, and Bartenders International Union, a member of the AFL-CIO, is closely linked to leaders of organized crime.
Attorney General James Zazzali has sent a letter to the commission detailing the charges, which reportedly include the allegation that one union official illegally owns stock in one of the casinos.
The attorney general's action follows on the heels of a long inquiry into the activities of the union by both the Atlantic County prosecutor's office and the New Jersey State Police special casino investigation unit.
If the union is barred from doing business it could lose close to a quarter of a million dollars in annual dues, together with th e right to administer millions in pension funds.