For immediate release
September 21, 2017
Las Vegas – Today, the Culinary Union filed another round of unfair labor practice charges against the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Las Vegas-based casino is owned by Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. These charges come just 12 days after the Las Vegas casino worker’s union filed its first set of charges against the casino for engaging in illegal labor practices.
The Culinary Union filed the second set of charges in the regional office of the NLRB on September 20, 2017 alleging the company has rules suppressing employees’ free speech, including prohibitions against saying anything to discredit the company, talking about personnel matters, saying negative things about the company on social media, engaging in “rebellious” behavior, etc. Despite Hard Rock Las Vegas’ claim that it wants employees to be able to “express themselves” they are prohibited from wearing union buttons.
The Culinary Union filed the first set of charges on September 8, 2017 alleging the company in anti-union communications to its workers promised to work on solving their workplace “challenges” instead of them choosing to have a union, falsely accused the Culinary Union of stealing and selling employee contact information, and giving employees the impression that it is futile to engage in collective bargaining.
Earlier this month, the Culinary Union called on the property’s owner, Brookfield Asset Management, to agree to a fair process that assures Hard Rock Las Vegas’ housekeepers, food servers, cooks, and other non-union workers have the opportunity to decide whether they want union representation in an atmosphere that is free from management pressure tactics.
“Hard Rock management’s decisions to engage in these alleged activities against workers and Brookfield’s complicit silence is incredibly disappointing,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “This is why Hard Rock workers need a fair process that is free from threats, intimidation, and interference to determine whether they want to unionize. Most major casino employers have agreed to this fair process allowing workers to make their own choices and Brookfield has agreed to this process outside of Nevada.”
Workers say a fair chance to decide on unionization can help assure that the casino’s owner, Brookfield Asset Management, follows the path of nearly all major casino employers in Las Vegas by ensuring the property’s workers are retained in the course of a sale. The Culinary Union, which represents 57,000 workers on the Las Vegas’ Strip and downtown casinos, has worked to ensure worker retention is the standard for the Las Vegas gaming industry.
“We do not think this type of activity is in line with interests of Brookfield Asset Management’s many partners, including the property’s primary lender,” said Argüello-Kline. Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is a Canadian asset manager with approximately $250 billion in assets under management, including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, holds the first mortgage on the casino resort. “We do not think the good people of Singapore nor the headline and risk-averse stewards of the nation’s resources would be pleased by such activities,” said Argüello-Kline.
Amidst labor dispute, Teamsters Union Local 986 are calling for worker retention at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas. Learn more here.
ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members – who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers – come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for over 82 years.