Nearly 50 Atlantic City casino workers expect to be arrested Friday evening after sitting down in the street and blocking the entrance to the Tropicana Casino and Resort.

Bob McDevitt, president of Local 54 of the Unite-HERE union, says it's just the first shot in what he promises  will be an escalating campaign against the casino unless it agrees to a new contract and reinstates employee pension plans it canceled in favor of direct cash payments to workers.

The dispute began earlier this year when the Tropicana declared an impasse in contract talks with the union.

Tropicana management insists it will not assume $1.3 billion in unfunded pension liabilities that new owner Carl Icahn was able to avoid when he bought the casino from bankruptcy court.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)