Federal Judge Orders Red Rock to Negotiate with Union
A federal judge has ruled that Red Rock Casino Resort must begin negotiations with local unions.
Unions have had a tough battle in the state of Nevada. There are a few casino operators that do not want to see employees unionize and have fought against it. Station Casinos is at the forefront of the fight. The operator owns several casinos and its Red Rock Resort Casino in Las Vegas went recently ordered to work with the Bartenders Local 165 and the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. The casino has been found in violation of federal regulations and must now work out a deal with the unions.
United States District Judge Gloria Navarro told the casino to begin negotiation with the unions now. The judge cited a hallmark of violation and said the operator must now follow 15 conditions. Employees are not to be interrogated about activities of the union. The casino operator must stop discouraging employees from taking part in the union.
Employees are no longer to be penalized if the operator thinks they are in support of the union. Station Casinos must begin now to work towards an agreement with the unions when it comes to their employees’ benefits.
The Red Rock Casino Resort is quite large and located off the Strip in Summerlin. The casino is actually the flagship property of Station Casinos.
Labor Laws were Violated
Judge Navarro ruled that Station Casinos is in violation of labor laws. Owners of Station Casinos, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III have continued to fight unions within their casinos for many years. They are not happy with the ruling by Navarro and say they respectively disagree with the result.
Station Casinos say the ruling overturns a clear vote of the Red Rock organization to reject the Culinary Union. The company says the decision punishes team members of the casino because they treat their members too well.
The judge responded, stating the response is nonsense. The judge said that before the December 2019 vote by the union with employees of Red Rock, the operator had increased employee benefits as an attempt to keep them from unionizing.
Navarro said that the benefits package likely stopped the union’s vote from reaching majority status and was outrageous in that it undermined the fairness of elections in the future. The offer of benefits was a violation that justifies the interim bargaining order.
The past dealings of Stations Casinos shows that they do not want to work with unions. However, this recent ruling calls on the company to do so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if the operator will try to fight the ruling any further.
For the bartender and culinary union members, they are happy with the result. The unions include 1,350 employees of Red Rock and they want to see negotiations begin. Officials with the unions released a statement soon after the ruling saying they are pleased with the outcome and commend the employees of the casino for being resilient and courageous as they faced a large anti-union campaign by Station Casinos.
The unions say they look forward to the negotiation process and creating a contract that will benefit employees. The decision by the judge was unexpected as it is rare for a interim union negotiating order to be issued.
The Culinary Union said that the ruling was the first of its kind for the union involving a casino it’s the history of the organization. It should be pointed out that the union is 86 years strong.