Undercurrent

Red Rock Casino ordered to negotiate contract with Culinary Union

By: - April 13, 2022 2:31 pm

“There is abundant evidence… that the Company’s motive for developing, approving, and ultimately announcing the new benefits and programs … was to undermine the Culinary Union campaign,” the judge wrote. (Nevada Current file photo)

An Administrative Law Judge ruled Tuesday that Red Rock Casino must bargain with Culinary Local 226, despite the union’s prior election loss at the resort.  

The union argued that before the December 2019 election it received signed authorization cards from at least 60% of eligible employees, but only 46% voted for the union during the election.   

“Red Rock’s pre election announcement that the Company would give the employees three ‘huge’ and ‘incredible’ new healthcare and retirement benefits in the coming year and subsequent warning that the employees risked losing those benefits by voting for the Union—were so serious that they rendered a fair rerun election impossible,” says the order from Judge Jeffrey D. Wedekind. Instead, the Culinary asked that Red Rock be required to bargain based on the authorization cards signed by a majority of employees. 

The judge wrote “there is abundant evidence… that the Company’s motive for developing, approving, and ultimately announcing the new benefits and programs at the Red Rock on December 10 and 11 was to undermine the Culinary Union campaign there. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a stronger evidentiary record supporting the General Counsel’s and the Union’s allegations.”

“The election will therefore be set aside,” Wedekind ordered. “In addition, Red Rock will be ordered to recognize and bargain with the Culinary Union based on its preelection card majority and to take various other appropriate actions to remedy its unlawful conduct.” 

The decision requires Station Casinos, the Red Rock Resorts subsidiary that operates Red Rock Casino and multiple other properties owned by Red Rock Resorts in Southern Nevada, to desist from: 

  • Threatening employees about selecting union representation
  • Promising benefits and improved terms and conditions in order to discourage union support
  • Threatening employees with loss of benefits, reprisals or less favorable terms for supporting the union
  • Coercively questioning employees about their union sympathies.
  • Posting employees’ images on an anti union website without their consent
  • Disciplining employees because they support the union
  • Assigning more onerous work to union supporters
  • Refusing to recall or reinstate laid-off employees because they support the union

The company must also post a notice to employees that reads:

 “The National Labor Relations Board has found that we violated Federal labor law and has ordered us to post and obey this notice.

FEDERAL LAW GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO 

Form, join, or assist a union 

Choose representatives to bargain with us on your behalf 

Act together with other employees for your benefit and protection 

Choose not to engage in any of these protected activities.”

“Just like the Ninth Circuit and Judge (Gloria) Navarro, the Administrative Law Judge also saw Station Casinos’ grant of benefits right before the election at Red Rock for what it was—a poorly disguised effort to discourage workers from unionizing. This is yet another victory for workers who stood up and organized to have a union and a union contract at Red Rock Casino,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. 

Pappageorge urged Station Casinos “to stop their feeble attempts to appeal” and comply with the law by working to bargain a contract. Station Casinos declined to comment.  The company and the Culinary Union have been at odds for decades. The union is asking Nevada gaming regulators to intervene by threatening the company’s gaming licenses.  

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

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