For immediate release
March 24, 2011
Las Vegas, NV–Today, fired Latino workers from Station Casinos will lead members of the Culinary and Bartenders unions and other supporters in a two-mile march from the Culinary Union to Palace Station, where approximately 100 demonstrators will blockade a street in an act of non-violent civil disobedience to protest the company’s treatment of Latino workers. UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm and other labor leaders from around North America will join the workers.
Station Casinos is currently on trial in the largest Unfair Labor Practice case ever filed against a Nevada gaming company by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board. Over 80% of the government’s 166 charges against the company affect Latino workers. Over 90 percent of the workers that have been or will be called by the government to testify against the company are Latino. Six of the eight worker organizers who have been fired by the company are Latino.
"I worked at Palace Station for 22 years as a cook," said Olvidio Aquino. "I worked hard. I did a good job. I began to exercise my right to support having a union. Then I was fired. I am upset that so many Latinos have been affected by the company’s anti-union campaign. No group of workers should be singled out by Station Casinos."
"I don’t like what is happening to Latino workers at Station Casinos," said Jennifer Grote, a Culinary Union member and food server at the Paris Casino who will participate in the blockade. "When workers are attacked it hurts us all."
The NLRB is currently prosecuting its case against Station Casinos based on the 166-count complaint the agency issued against the company last year for alleged violations of federal labor laws at its ten largest local casinos. The government has charged the company with allegedly using threats, intimidation, interrogation, surveillance, bribery, discouragement, discrimination, discipline and even physical assault to thwart workers efforts to form a union, rights protected by federal labor laws.
The Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, and Bartenders Union, Local 165, are both affiliates of UNITE HERE. The Culinary is the largest local labor union in the U.S. gaming industry. The Culinary represents approximately 55,000 casino and resort workers primarily on the Las Vegas Strip and in downtown Las Vegas.