Union Boss Deems Hard Rock’s $100m National Salary Scale Raise a “Great Move”

  • Hard Rock International is hiking its minimum starting salary to $18- $21 per hour
  • Its hourly starting salary rate is 2.5 times greater than the equivalent federal minimum wage
  • Union boss McDevitt said the move will have a great impact on Hard Rock employees
  • Multiple US casino firms on Monday did not respond to questions about their pay rates
Hard Rock casino logo
Union heads and industry experts alike are full of praise for Hard Rock International’s high-profile decision to significantly hike pay for its non-tipped staff. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

McDevitt full of praise

Unite Here Local 54 union president Bob McDevitt has praised Hard Rock International for using $100m to set a US salary scale, deeming it “a great move.”

hiking its minimum starting salary to between $18 and $21 per hour

Hard Rock announced Monday that its non-tipped staff are in for a big payday, with 10,000 mostly US-based workers in line for large pay increases. Hard Rock is hiking its minimum starting salary to between $18 and $21 per hour, with some staff even seeing an immediate 60% rise in their paychecks. Some staff already on salary will receive boosted merit raises.

The non-tipped worker category in Hard Rock includes 95 job titles, such as cage cashiers, cooks, front desk clerks, housekeepers, and security personnel.

Hard Rock outlined the twofold reason for the salary hike, including the needs of its staff and the long-term strategic growth of Hard Rock. Foremost, Hard Rock said it aims to help employees with constant inflation, while also helping the recruitment and retention of top talent.

Throwing down the gauntlet

A little over two months ago, casinos in Atlantic City were under threat of strike by workers demanding better pay. The Atlantic City employers had little choice but to concede, and in doing so gave staff “the largest worker gains in the union’s history,” stated Unite Here.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was one of the last Atlantic City casino operators to come to the negotiating table to ward off those strikes, but union execs and gambling experts are full of admiration for what its parent brand pledged to its workforce Monday.

exceeds the local minimum wage in every state in which the company operates”

As reported by the Associated Press on Monday, Hard Rock chairman and CEO Jim Allen has claimed that his firm’s hourly starting salary rate is 2.5 times higher than the equivalent federal minimum wage of $7.25, and “exceeds the local minimum wage in every state in which the company operates”

McDevitt believes Hard Rock has set a precedent and that the raises are “going to have a big impact” in all the locations the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida-owned brand operates.

The AP also cites David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who believes the move will give Hard Rock “a competitive advantage at a time when labor is relatively tight.”

Tangible appreciation

In his Monday statement, Allen explained that the company wants to show appreciation to its staff. He said: “We just wanted to do something to really help out and show appreciation to our employees. We’re trying to find the highest quality employees, thanking them for their efforts and recognizing that with compensation.”

According to the AP, questions on Monday to multiple other US-based casino firms about their pay rates garnered no response.