BALTIMORE — Union workers at Pimlico and Laurel race tracks voted today to accept the five-year contract they had rejected a week ago, averting a strike Monday.
The contract replaces one that expires at midnight Sunday and covers about 660 pari-mutuel clerks, guards, parkers, admissions personnel, jockeys' room valets and the starting gate crew.
The members of Local 27 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union had rejected the offer last week and authorized a strike despite the recommendation of union leaders that the track management's offer be accepted.
The ratification vote was 310 to 39. It calls for top-scale wages for pari-mutuel clerks after eight years of continuous regular service.
Today's vote meeting was tightly secured. The press was barred, as well as friends and family of union members.
Union and track management officials met for about four hours Wednesday at a series of meetings arranged by federal mediator Leo Gant.