Las Vegas, NV–In two demonstrations on March 11, over 1,500 members from the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 and Bartenders Union, Local 165 from Las Vegas Strip and Downtown casinos joined workers from Station Casinos who want a fair process to decide whether to form a union without management interference. Workers outraged by the company’s treatment of workers and decision to wage a vicious, anti-union campaign, picketed in front of one of the company’s ten large Las Vegas casinos.
The unions have filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board alleging Station Casinos has broken federal labor law in over 100 incidences by using threats, harassment, surveillance, physical assaults, retaliatory warnings , suspensions, and firings as part of an illegal campaign to stop workers from forming a union.
Station Casinos, with over 13,000 employees, is the third largest private employer in the Las Vegas Valley. Workers from the company’s ten large casinos, which cater to locals, formed a union organizing committee in mid-February and soon after returned to work wearing their union committee leader buttons and began talking to their co-workers about forming a union. The company’s aggressive and hostile union campaign has only fortified the workers’ resolve and outraged members of the Culinary and Bartenders unions who, along with their friends and families, make up a good portion of the company’s local customer base.
Since a management-led buyout in November 2007 that paid Station Casinos insiders $660 million, the company has subcontracted out its PBX, coffee shops, and uniform departments to outside operators. Hundreds of workers have lost their jobs with the company as a result. The company has also cut hours, made permanent layoffs, suspended the workers 401(k) match, and raised employees’ health insurance premiums.
Saddled with a large debt load from the buyout, the company filed for bankruptcy on July 28, 2009.