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Mohegan Sun, labor groups OK hiring pact

Mohegan Sun said Sunday it has reached an agreement with two local labor groups to hire union carpenters and tradesmen should it win approval to build a casino in Revere.

The company also said it signed a memorandum of understanding with several other Boston unions to allow for unionization of the permanent workforce within the casino.

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Mohegan Sun is vying with Wynn Resorts for the state’s only Greater Boston gambling license. Company executives have proposed a $1.3 billion resort on about 42 acres of land owned by Suffolk Downs in Revere.

Mohegan Sun officials say the union agreements show they are committed to developing a healthy workforce if they secure both the state gambling license and voters’ approval. Revere residents will vote on a referendum regarding the casino Feb. 25.

“A Mohegan Sun resort casino in Revere will bring thousands of good union jobs and a boost in economic development and tourism to the area,” Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said in a statement.

The labor agreement assures that union workers will be used in construction of the resort, company and union leaders said.

Mark Erlich, executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, said he is confident the compact will open up positions for local workers.

“With the unemployment rate of skilled trades still high, families are struggling and a potential project of this size is critical to getting people back to work,” he said in a statement.

The proposed resort would include a gaming area with 4,000 slot machines and 100 table games as well as ho- tels, restaurants, and retail stores.

Casino plans in Massachusetts have stirred ardent opposition. One proposal to build a casino on Suffolk Downs racetrack property was shot down in East Boston on the same day that Revere voters approved the measure.

Celeste Myers, a leader of the group No Eastie Casino, said a signed commitment to unionized labor is good, but it fails to afford any guarantees.

“It’s not guaranteeing that we’re going to get the number of jobs that they’ve promised,” she said.

In their statement, casino officials said they expect the project to create 2,500 construction jobs, and they have estimated it will open up thousands of additional jobs in the resort.

Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zachary. sampson@globe.com.
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