Nearly 50 casino union workers in Atlantic City say they expect to be arrested Friday after blocking the entrance to the Tropicana Casino and Resort as part of a protracted contract dispute.

Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union calls the demonstration an act of civil disobedience, and says it will cooperate with police once its members are placed under arrest for blocking traffic.

The casino has not signed a contract with the union. The main sticking point is the Tropicana's cancellation of employee pensions in favor of direct cash payments.

Union president Bob McDevitt says the demonstration is just the first step in what he promises will be an escalating campaign of pressure against the Tropicana if the contract impasse continues.

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