For immediate release
March 15, 2017
Culinary & Bartenders Union sends letter requesting negotiating dates
LAS VEGAS, NV – Yesterday, Station Casinos agreed to a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which made Palace Station its second hotel-casino in Las Vegas to be unionized, with its workers now represented by the Culinary & Bartenders Unions. In addition, the company agreed to reimburse Boulder Station workers who were unfairly denied lower healthcare costs after they voted to unionize last fall.
The settlement agreement comes after the unions requested that the NLRB investigate alleged illegal behavior by Palace Station leading up to a union election last October. The unions fell four votes short of winning the election.
Station Casinos announced a few hours after the Boulder election in September, which the union won in a landslide, that the company was going to lower monthly healthcare premiums for every casino property in Las Vegas except for newly unionized Boulder Station workers. One month later, shortly after the unions filed for an election at Palace Station, the company notified non-unionized workers that their lower premium rate would remain throughout 2017. The company also granted other valuable benefits to workers at Palace Station as they faced their choice to unionize, pleading with workers to give management “a chance” to improve working conditions without a union.
Both the U.S. Supreme Court and the NLRB have ruled that tactics like these violate the National Labor Relations Act. After investigating charges of unfair labor practices filed by the unions, the Regional Director of the Las Vegas Region of the NLRB indicated that he would seek an order requiring Station Casinos to correct the alleged violations and bargain with Palace Station workers. Station Casinos has now agreed to settle the charges, and recognize Palace Station as union. It also agreed to make whole Boulder Station employees for the difference in health plan premium payments.
The unions and Boulder Station workers’ negotiation committee have been in contract talks with Boulder Station since December, and Palace Station workers will soon join in bargaining.
“We commend the Palace Station workers for their courage and resilience in the face of the company’s massive anti-union campaign.” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “We look forward to starting contract negotiations so that workers can have fair wages, job security, and good health benefits.”
From the notice Station Casinos is required to post as part the NLRB Settlement Agreement dated March 13, 2017:
STATION CASINOS: “WE WILL NOT fail or refuse to bargain in good faith with the Union
for a collective-bargaining agreement covering the Palace Unit employees.”
At the Northern California tribal casino managed by Station Casinos, workers ratified a first union contract October 2015. Last year, workers at the company’s Boulder Station neighborhood casino in east Las Vegas voted to unionize. Palace Station is the third property in the Station Casinos portfolio to unionize.
Workers at Station Casinos have long demanded a fair process to exercise their right to choose whether to unionize. Recent changes to NLRB rules created new opportunities for workers to decide whether to unionize through a federally supervised election in spite of continued prospect of management interference, intimidation, bullying, and litigation. Workers at Boulder Station and Palace Station filed for union elections under these new rules.
Since last September, Station Casinos has hired anti-union consultants from Labor Relations Specialist LLC, including Ricardo Pasalagua, to conduct mandatory meetings to urge its workers to vote against the union.
Station Casinos is partially owned by Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) and controlled by the Fertitta family. Aside from Palace Station, the company’s other major properties include: Boulder Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Green Valley Ranch, Palms, Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, and Texas Station.
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 the 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 over 57,000 members – 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.
The Culinary Union encourages the public to stay away from Nevada hotels and casinos involved in active labor disputes such as most of the Station Casinos properties, including Palms, Red Rock Resort, and Green Valley Ranch. (We note that the company’s Boulder Station does not currently have a labor dispute.) To see the list of hotels and casinos in an active labor dispute, go to: VegasTravelAlert.org.