For immediate release
June 14, 2019
BKhan [at] culinaryunion226 [dot] org
LAS VEGAS, NV – Workers at Fiesta Rancho Hotel & Casino, which is owned and operated by Station Casinos, voted to unionize on Friday, June 14, 2019, through a secret-ballot election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
During the one-day NLRB election, 147 workers voted and 85% voted “YES” for the union. Approximately 200 Fiesta Rancho workers will be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE.
Workers at Sunset Station voted yesterday by 83% to unionize.
“Workers are standing up and fighting! Two Station Casinos’ properties have voted to unionize by a majority this week,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer and leader of the Culinary Union. “We call on Station Casinos to immediately to negotiate and settle a fair contract for the workers at Fiesta Rancho, Sunset Station, Palms, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, and Boulder Station.”
Fiesta Rancho is the sixth Station Casinos Las Vegas property to unionize since 2016. Station Casinos, the third-largest private-sector employer in Southern Nevada, is the operating subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts, Inc.
Workers at six Station Casinos’ Las Vegas properties are now unionized and fighting for a contract: Boulder Station (September 2016), Palace Station (March 2017), Green Valley Ranch (November 2017), Palms (April 2018), Sunset Station (June 2019), and Fiesta Rancho (June 2019).
“I’m fighting for my family’s future,” said Ronal Portillo, a cook at the Fiesta Rancho for 2 years. “I’m a child of a Culinary Union guest room attendant, and I saw when my family had good healthcare benefits. My mom had peace of mind because she didn’t have to worry about taking me to the doctor. As a parent myself, I work hard every day to provide for my family and make this company successful. We don’t want to be left behind.”
Station Casinos has said many times that they would respect their employees’ right to hold an NLRB election:
- “We have said all along that if a fair and lawful election is held we will abide by the results.” – Richard Haskins, president of Station Casinos (Las Vegas Review Journal – September 1, 2016)
- “We…support their right to join a union if they so choose as that decision is theirs, not ours, to make.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – February 12, 2016).
- “We’ve always respected our employees’ right to join a union if that’s what they want to do.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – January 20, 2016)
- “Station Casinos officials have said they are willing to allow a secret-ballot vote” (Las Vegas Review Journal – October 7, 2014)
- “The decision to join a union belongs to our team members, and we respect that right.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – August 29, 2014)
- “We’ve made it really clear that the door is open for a secret-ballot election.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Wall Street Journal – March 22, 2013)
- “Station saying a secret-ballot election is allowed and welcomed.” (Las Vegas Sun – January 22, 2012)
- “If the employees choose they wanna be in the union, then that’s their choice.” – Lorenzo Fertitta (Heavy MMA – September 2, 2011)
- “We have always recognized our team members’ right to be represented by a union if they so choose.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Review Journal – February 17, 2011)
The latest unionizing victories at Fiesta Rancho and Sunset Station follow a May 22, 2019 NLRB decision and order finding that Station Casinos’ Palms Casino Resort has unlawfully refused to recognize and bargain with the Culinary and Bartenders Unions.
In 2010, workers at Station Casinos started a public organizing drive. A majority of workers in the classifications that Culinary and Bartenders’ traditionally represents (which includes most of the hotel and food and beverage workers in a casino hotel) signed a public petition to demand a fair process to exercise their right to choose whether to unionize. Changes to NLRB rules in 2014 created new opportunities for workers to choose whether to unionize through NLRB-supervised secret-ballot elections despite Station Casinos’ management interference, intimidation, bullying, and litigation.
Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) became the parent company of Station Casinos through an IPO in 2016. The company is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, billionaire supporters of President Donald Trump. In addition to the unionized Boulder Station, Palace Station, Green Valley Ranch, Palms, and Sunset Station, the company’s other casino-hotels in Las Vegas include: Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, and Fiesta Rancho.
ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 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 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.
The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 130,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.
The Culinary Union has a diverse membership—approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples—and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 84 years.