LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An ongoing contract dispute between Churchill Downs and valets led to a protest at the horse racing complex in Louisville Saturday.

SEIU Local 541 represents valets, employees who saddle horses and check for proper weights on each horse, at Churchill Downs and Turfway Park.

The valets have been working under expired contracts since last year, and the union rejected Churchill Downs' latest offer earlier this week.

They said Churchill Downs has since called off negotiations. 

"We believe that the $27,000 difference that resolves all these contracts, both them here and at Turfway, it will probably be made up in the opening seconds of the opening night here," David O'Brien Suetholz, SEIU Local 541 Union Attorney, said. 

The union said most valets make around $16 per hour, and are now asking for $20 along with additional retirement contributions.

Churchill Downs declined to comment about the protest and ongoing dispute. 

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