LAS VEGAS (AP) — A casino workers’ union on Wednesday hailed a federal court ruling in a yearslong fight to unionize about 1,350 employees at a Las Vegas-based casino company that it accuses of refusing to negotiate in good faith.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro issued an order on Tuesday that directed Station Casinos to recognize the Culinary and Bartenders unions at Red Rock Casino and begin contract talks while a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit is decided.
The judge identified what she called a “hallmark violation” of federal labor law and ordered the company not to threaten, discipline or interfere with employees because of their membership or support for the union.
The company said it “firmly and respectfully” disagreed with the ruling, declaring that the judge overturned a vote by Red Rock employees to reject the Culinary Union and punished the company “because Station Casinos treated its team members too well.”
Station Casinos owns several hotel-casinos in and around Las Vegas and has for years resisted worker efforts to unionize.
The judge’s decision said it is likely that Cornele Overstreet, regional chief for the National Labor Relations Board, will prevail in the lawsuit alleging unfair labor practices and at least one tainted union vote at Red Rock Resort. The 800-room resort opened in 2006 not far from the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, west of Las Vegas.
“We are pleased with the federal court’s extraordinary and vindicating ruling,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, union secretary-treasurer, said in a statement. “We look forward to negotiating and winning a union contract to protect workers.”
The Culinary Union accused the company of undercutting a December 2019 union election by enhancing health benefits just days before the vote and increasing company contributions to worker retirement savings accounts.
The judge is requiring Station Casinos to hold mandatory meetings on company time over the next two weeks so parts of the order, which direct the company to stop engaging in unfair labor practices, can be read aloud in English and Spanish to every employee.