“There are no minorities in the union at the Saratoga Race Course,” claims an ex-worker who says he was forced to work 90-hour weeks, not allowed to join the union, paid less than white workers he supervised, and subjected to racist comments from bosses. He sued the New York Racing Association, which has “an exclusive franchise from New York State to conduct horse racing and pari-mutuel betting at the Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga racetracks,” and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, in Federal Court.
Jose Garcia says he worked at Saratoga for 8 years before being made supervisor of the barn crew. The $2 an hour he received with his promotion bumped his hourly wage up to $11.50. He says the white union member whom he replaced had made twice that amount.
“Being a member of the union would have given plaintiff higher wages, health insurance, and the opportunity to contribute to a pension plan,” Garcia says. “Plaintiff was never given membership in the union. The first two years he tried to get in the union, plaintiff was not given any reason why he could not join.
“Then this year the union said plaintiff couldn’t join because he didn’t have a driver’s license.”