This week marked another loss for Station Casinos in its long-running battle with the Culinary and Bartenders Union after an administrative law judge ordered its Red Rock Casino to bargain with the union.
Disguised Effort to Discourage Unionization
The ruling issued by US Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey D. Wederkind on April 12, 2022, sided with the temporary order issued by the US District Court and affirmed by the Ninth Circuit, the Culinary Union said in a release on its website, emphasizing that Station Casinos “loses again.”
Commenting on the ruling, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary and Bartenders Union Ted Pappageorge outlined that the administrative law judge “saw Station Casinos’ grant of benefit 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. We commend Red Rock Casino workers for their continued courage and resilience in the face of the massive anti-union campaign that Station Casinos shamefully waged against them.”
Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer, Culinary and Bartenders Union
Further, Pappageorge called on Station Casinos to “stop their feeble attempts to appeal” and comply with the law by reaching a “fair contract” to ensure protection for their employees. Owned by billionaires Frank III and Lorenzo Fertitta, Station Casinos have so far managed to keep their nine casinos in Southern Nevada union-free.
“The Culinary Union will continue to negotiate until we win a first union contract at Red Rock Casino that turns company promises into what is the standard in Las Vegas that the Culinary Union has secured over 87 years – strong union contract guarantees,” he concluded.
Cease and Desist Order
US Administrative Law Judge Wederkind ordered Station Casinos to cease and desist from any attempts to block unionization at Red Rock Casino by threatening employees that union representation would be futile, promising or granting employees benefits and improved conditions of employment to discourage union selection or representation, threatening employees with loss of benefits, reprisal or less favorable terms of employment if they select union representation, questioning employees about union sympathies, disciplining employees for their support for union representation, assigning employees more onerous work to “punish” their support for unionization, as well as refusing to recall or re-instate laid-off employees because of their support for unionization.
“Here, as fully discussed above, there is abundant evidence—both direct (e.g., the previous unlawful promise of such benefits, and other recorded statements, PowerPoints, emails, and text messages) and circumstantial (e.g., the suspicious and rushed timing and the false, evasive, and inconsistent testimony noted above regarding the relevant facts and circumstances) —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,” Wederkind wrote in the ruling stressing that “it is hard to imagine a stronger evidentiary record supporting the General Counsel’s and the Union’s allegations.”
Station Casinos stated that the company is disappointed with the decision and is considering its legal recourse.
Recently, the Culinary Union threatened Station Casinos with a mass action lawsuit claiming the company had violated Nevada’s “Right to Return” Act.