06/05/2012 4:59PM

Belmont Stakes 2012: Cuomo encourages NYRA, union to settle dispute

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the New York Racing Association and the union which represents the track’s maintenance and starting gate crew to settle their differences before Saturday’s Belmont Stakes in which I’ll Have Another will attempt to become the sport’s 12th Triple Crown winner.

“This year's Belmont Stakes has the potential to be a truly remarkable event, attracting worldwide attention and millions of dollars of economic activity for the New York metropolitan area and the entire region,” Cuomo said. “The event has been planned for months with excitement continuing to build. It is simply unacceptable that a two-year-long labor dispute would imperil this special event.

“My administration has been in touch with NYRA and the unions, and we have urged both to resolve this dispute amicably,” Cuomo said. “Both sides should put aside their differences and do what is best for the people of the State of New York: ensure a smooth and successful Belmont Stakes.”

Cuomo released a statement Tuesday afternoon after it was reported that the International Brotherhood of International Workers Local 3 authorized its 130 members to strike, an event that could impact this Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

Members of Local 3 were scheduled to hold a rally outside Belmont’s main gate Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

NYRA and Local 3, which represents electricians, maintenance crew workers and the starting gate crew, have been working without a contract since Feb. 2010.

Local 3 claims NYRA is seeking a 30-percent reduction in wages and benefits. NYRA claims that its medical benefit liability has nearly doubled over the past three years - from $61 million in 2008 to $121 million in 2011.

Representatives of NYRA and Local 3 were expected to meet with a mediator on Tuesday.

Vincent Condeni More than 1 year ago
The NYRA and their Union are Thinking the Unthinkable! Without a contract soon the Belmont Weekend will be lost forever. The TC and the Racing Industry will slip into a Black Hole never to recover again! Gov Gumo can fix this problem in a minute. Have both Parties sign a reasonable Agreement and use the Casino Money slush fund to pay the extra benefits to Union Members! Incidentally, the extra Casino Money used to inflate NYRA Purses is a disgrace and unwarranted. The only ones benefiting are the Horseman, Trainers and Jockeys. The Bettors, who make the Circus run, should immediately receive a substantial drop in the take out rate, to 15% for all bets! I pray the Governor, NYRA and the Union reach an agreement by this evening!
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
2 and a half yers without a contract, these are the guys that make it hapen, nyra are a bunch of fat cats only interested in liing their own pockets.
raymond More than 1 year ago
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The way NYRA's luck seems to run, Cuomo probably gave this union the idea to strike in the first place.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
We should hire Hispanic People to do their job - my favorite employees of all time ! They are the best at taking PRIDE in what they do : at least in the Thoroughbred Industry . You can take that to the Bank : They show up every day , and they dot have to be babysitted - im sorry if im busting alot of bubbles - I have worked with about all nationalities , and I would not change my mind in whom id be hiring : Sorry But True
mikey More than 1 year ago
GOV.CUOMO is tring to finish what his old man left undone get rid of NYRA. HIS FATHER WAS way ahead of his time.NYRA has ruined a good thing.Thet felt that they were the biggest and had a sure thing.The golden goose is on life support and need's a life saver.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And once NYRA goes, New York racing goes with it. You expect if NYRA disappears that racing will continue in the state? Not bloody likely; he'll take the slot money and leave Belmont and Saratoga to wither and die. The only thing, "mikey", worse than not getting what you want is getting what you want.
Jeff Greenbirdie More than 1 year ago
Horse racing is in a desperate mode.The problems are too many to list here but we better start paying attention to the basics.We have a wonderful sport but if we are not careful,it will be gone forever.The Belmont stakes,a great tradition, will not save racing.It is the every day horses and the people that attend their everyday needs that are what makes this work not whether their will be another triple crown winner.If we don't take of what really makes this work it will not be here much longer.
Jeff Greenbirdie More than 1 year ago
Horse racing in this country is in desperate shape.The reasons are too many to list .The issues should be addressed as soon as possible before this wonderful sport is gone fore forever
mrm More than 1 year ago
This Cuomo is such a snake. He is chomping at the bit to reduce the amount of slot revenue that the racing industry receives. My advice to farm owners, stallion owners,breeders and owners in New York is don't get used to the revenue because it's not going to last.
Darrell Peck More than 1 year ago
Not one slot dollar should go to keep a dying industry afloat. Can you imagine private industry getting slots to keep their business going. If horse racing can't make it on their own then just like other industries it should dry up and go away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Then why are you here? Seriously, if it's a "dying industry", in your own words, you obviously don't care, so why are you here on a racing website again if you hate racing so much?
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
Dying? Hardly, wagering dollars are always going up. Casino money is taxed at a way lower percentage. And also they wouldn't have Off- Casino- Betting so you didn't have to travel to the casino and keep most of the money while siphoning most of the the people that attend.
mrm More than 1 year ago
Private industry is the recipient of many wastefull TAX subsidies such as paying corporate fams NOT to grow crops etc. The racing industry receives a percentage of the slot revenue generated at the tracks. Big Difference.
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Cuomo claims the racinos are(paraphrasing here) filled with scandal. Aside from NYRA's recent follies, I would like the governor to cite specific examples.
David G. More than 1 year ago
In homer of scores of the dedicated members of the NYRA staff, some whom have worked at the facility for over 25+ years and were suddenly dismissed when Resorts came in last November with their own staff, "LET 'EM STRIKE”
David G. More than 1 year ago
In honor ...