The proposed ballot measures that would allow a private casino now has the backing of a big labor group.
Measures 82 and 83 received the endorsement of the Oregon AFL-CIO Thursday. The federation of 55 unions threw its support behind the proposed casino complex that would result if the measures pass because project developers promised that the complex would be built with union labor.
Construction of The Grange would provide 3,000 jobs, union officials said. If approved by voters, the project would feature an entertainment complex in addition to the casino. It would be built on the site of a now defunct dog track in Wood Village.
AFL-CIO leaders said the construction jobs would have pensions, health care and good pay. PDX Entertainment said construction would begin shortly after the election if the measures pass and would be complete sometime in 2014.
The AFL-CIO also said it is confident the 2,000 permanent, full-time jobs would be middle-class-wage jobs with health care benefits.
"I don't know if they'll be union or not," said Tom Chamberlain, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. "The employees have to make that decision, but the developers have agreed that they will not interfere with those workers' rights to join a union."
The developer also announced a partnership with two builders: Anderson Construction and JE Dunn Construction.
In response to Thursday's announcement, those against the casino legislation announced bi-partisan opposition to the project.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties of Oregon released statements denouncing the expansion of gaming in the state.
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