Appeals Court Rules Red Rock Resort Must Negotiate with Union
A federal appeals court has ruled that Station Casinos Red Rock Casino must begin contract negotiations with the Nevada Culinary Union.
For quite some time, Station Casinos has been involved in legal fights with casino employees that wish to unionize. The operator has several casinos in the state of Nevada where employees have reportedly tried to unionize and have been unsuccessful. Late last week, a federal appeals court ruled that the company’s Red Rock Casino must immediately start the negotiation process with the Culinary Union. This is just one of several issues the company is dealing with. Red Resort is also accused of interfering with an effort to unionize last year and is under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board.
Siding with the Union
The National Labor Relations Board is reviewing whether or not Station Casinos increased benefits of employees at Red Rock as a way to stop unionization. The benefits were provided just a few days before employees were to choose if they wanted to form a union and join the Culinary Union of Nevada.
Station Casinos says that it was not trying to sway the opinion of employees by offering better compensation and benefits. The company says it was only trying to improve what it offered workers. The judge in the case did not agree.
US District Judge Gloria Navarro ruled back in July that the company was to start negotiations with the union as the Board continues to review the allegations. The casino company appealed the ruling and just last week, it was upheld.
The 9th Circuit panel ruled that there is extensive evidence that the benefits provided by Station were designed to discourage support of the union. Station Casinos has not responded yet to this decision and does have the ability to appeal within the US Supreme Court or 9th Circuit.
The Culinary Union is happy with the ruling and feels that justice has been served for the employees of the casino.
How Will the Board Rule?
With this ruling decision made, now all eyes are on the National Labor Relations Board and how it will rule the allegations against Station Casinos. The group is an agency working in the US that ensures companies provide a quality workplace environment with fair labor initiatives.
The Board has the ability to rule on labor practices within the private sector, an area where commercial casinos fall into. The agency works on investigations that involve employee needs, including when a union or employee files a complaint involving federal rights of workers.
Usually, the Board encourages company’s and employees or unions to negotiate their issues outside of the courtroom. For Station Casinos and the Culinary Union, it does not seem like this would be the case. Owners of Station Casinos, Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta have long been in favor of stopping any unionization within their properties.
According to Station Casinos, the operator was considering raises and benefits for Red Rock employees long before the vote for the union took place.
We shall see in time if Station Casinos finally gives up and starts union discussions for Red Rock Casino employees or if the fight will continue. Odds are, the casino operator will not back down and will continue to push forward to avoid allowing employees to unionize.