Racing is scheduled to continue at Bowie today but the outlook for Saturday is "certainly pessimistic" following yesterday's contract negotiations with the race track employees' union, general manager Al Karwacki declared.
"At the request of the (federal and state) mediators, management came up with a new proposal, which would be much more beneficial to the union members," Karwacki said. "The union then made a new proposal this afternoon. It is because of the difference between the two new proposals that I'm so pessimistic."
No negotiaions are scheduled for today between Local 692 of the Retail Store Employees Union and the management of Bowie, Pimlico and Laurel. "I'm sure there will be considerable communication by telephone," Karwacki said.
There is a possibility that Bowie will not be able to run today should Local 1501 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (AFL-CIO) strike the track. Midnight Thursday was the deadline for those negotiations between the IBEW and the American Totalisator Co. of Towson, Md. The electricians service and repair parimutuel equipment at approximately 40 tracks in North America.
Only 12 IBEW members are employed at Bowie.Karwacki said Bowie would atempt to run even if the IBEW should set up picket lines.
"We would assume that our employees would come to work. We would be ready, willing and able to go," he said. "We could operate. We could operate."
There is a strong possibility, however, that the employees' union would honor the IBEW's picket lines if that union went on strike. Such an action by the employees' union would force Bowie to shut down.
Negotiators for the employees' union met with representatives of Bowie, Pimlico and Laurel yesterday at the International Hotel, Baltimore-Washington International Airport. All parties agreed to continue their no-strike agreement through today - another one-day extension - but no promises were given for Saturday's card.