De Francis, union foresee '94 changes

August 21, 1992|By Ross Peddicord

LAUREL -- Horsemen at Maryland thoroughbred tracks are not the only people affected by the current slump in racetrack business.

Track operator Joe De Francis met at a local restaurant last night with Tom Russow, president of Local 27 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and shop stewards, to discuss the five-year contract that the track signed with the union in 1989.

De Francis wants to start discussions with the union concerning work-rule changes when the contract is up in 1994.

Russow said: "The current contract stays the same, but we want to start addressing the changes that are taking place in the racing industry because of the current slump in business. What we want are guarantees of job security and a five-day-minimum race week."

De Francis said he is seeking "modifications in that collective-bargaining agreement. When that contract was signed three years ago, no one foresaw what was going to happen to the [racing] industry or the economy, or what is going to occur in the next two years.

"We have to face reality and adjust to what's happening in the rest of the world," De Francis added.

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