Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Federal officer recommends rejection of Station Casinos’ challenges to union election results

Culinary Union calls for contract negotiations at Green Valley Ranch to begin immediately

Las Vegas, NV – Last week, a federal officer for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a report calling for Station Casinos’ objections to a recent union election of its employees be rejected in their entirety. The report also calls for the NLRB to certify the union election, in which a majority of Green Valley Ranch employees voted in favor of unionizing. 

After a two-week evidentiary hearing, a Hearing Officer for Region 27 of the NLRB found no objectionable conduct by workers or the Culinary Union that would interfere with a free and fair election.

“I recommend that the Employer’s objections be overruled in their entirety,” wrote José R. Rojas, NLRB Hearing Officer, in his report issued Friday, February 9, 2018. The decision will be final unless appealed to the Director of the NLRB Region 27 by February 23, 2018. 

“Station Casinos has said many times that they would respect their employees’ right to hold a NLRB secret-ballot election and abide by results; now that their objections have been entirely rejected, we urge Station Casinos to recognize their workers’ voices and votes, and begin contract negotiations in good faith immediately,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union.

Station Casinos has said many times that they would respect their employees’ right to hold a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) union election:

  • “We have said all along that if a fair and lawful election is held we will abide by the results.” - Richard Haskins, president of Station Casinos (Las Vegas Review Journal – September 1, 2016)
  • “We…support their right to join a union if they so choose as that decision is theirs, not ours, to make.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun - February 12, 2016). 
  • “We’ve always respected our employees’ right to join a union if that’s what they want to do.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun - January 20, 2016)
  • “Station Casinos officials have said they are willing to allow a secret-ballot vote” (Las Vegas Review Journal - October 7, 2014)
  • “The decision to join a union belongs to our team members, and we respect that right.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Sun – August 29, 2014)
  • “We’ve made it really clear that the door is open for a secret-ballot election.” - Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Wall Street Journal – March 22, 2013) 
  • “Station saying a secret-ballot election is allowed and welcomed.” (Las Vegas Sun – January 22, 2012)
  • “We have always recognized our team members’ right to be represented by a union if they so choose.” – Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman (Las Vegas Review Journal – February 17, 2011)

Workers at Green Valley Ranch, a luxury casino resort owned and operated by Station Casinos, voted to unionize on November 8 and 9, 2017. Green Valley Ranch is the fourth Station Casinos-operated property to unionize since 2015. Workers at a Station Casinos-managed tribal casino in California ratified a first union contract in October, 2015. Workers at two of its Las Vegas properties – Boulder Station and Palace Station – were unionized in September, 2016, and March, 2017, respectively. 

During the two-day election conducted by the NLRB, 730 workers voted by a landslide 78% “YES” for the union. Approximately 900 Green Valley Ranch workers will be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE. Station Casinos is the operating subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRR).

Green Valley Ranch, a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning property, is the first boutique luxury resort built off the Las Vegas Strip, according to the company. Green Valley Ranch has approximately 495 hotel rooms, 2,295 slots, and 48 gaming tables and is owned and operated by Station Casinos, the third-largest private-sector employer in Southern Nevada with 10 casino hotels and 10 casino taverns in the region. Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) became the parent company of Station Casinos through an IPO last year. The company is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who own 10-to-1 super-voting Class B shares of Red Rock Resorts. In addition to Boulder Station, Palace Station, and Green Valley Ranch, the company’s other casino-hotels in Las Vegas include: Red Rock Resort, Palms Casino Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, and Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho.

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ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 54% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 173 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 83 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226

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Media Contact: 

Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088

Workers at Green Valley Ranch Casino Resort Unionize

LAS VEGAS, NV – Workers at Green Valley Ranch, a luxury casino resort owned and operated by Station Casinos, voted to unionize on November 8 and 9. Green Valley Ranch is the fourth Station Casinos-operated property to unionize since 2015. Workers at a Station Casinos-managed tribal casino in California ratified a first union contract in October, 2015. Workers at two of its Las Vegas properties – Boulder Station and Palace Station – were unionized in September, 2016, and March, 2017, respectively.

During the two-day election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, 730 workers voted and 78% voted “YES” for the union. Approximately 900 Green Valley Ranch workers will be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE. Station Casinos is the operating subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRR).

“Over the course of organizing, I’ve picketed, protested, and even fasted for seven days. I’m happy to have been able to help organize my coworkers and I felt so proud to vote “YES” for the union!” said Michael Wagner, a bartender who has worked at Green Valley Ranch since it opened in December, 2001. “I look forward to joining together with other Station Casinos workers in negotiations with the company so we can have a fair union contract soon.” 

“This latest victory by Station Casinos workers is a testament to the courage and resilience of working people,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union. “We welcome the new members to the Culinary Union, and applaud the Green Valley Ranch organizing committee for their hard work to get their co-workers to stand up and demand a better future for themselves and their families.”

“We voted ‘YES’ to join the Culinary Union because we deserve fair wages and good benefits,” said Gladis Sosa de Funes, a guest room attendant at Green Valley Ranch. “Everyone knows the Culinary Health Plan is the best health insurance in Las Vegas, and we want our families to have it.” 

In 2010, workers at Station Casinos started a public organizing drive. A super majority of workers in Culinary and Bartenders’ bargaining unit (which includes most of the hotel and food and beverage workers in a casino hotel) signed a public petition to demand a fair process to exercise their right to choose whether to unionize.

Recent changes to NLRB rules created new opportunities for workers to choose whether to unionize through NLRB-supervised secret-ballot elections even with the continued prospect of management interference, intimidation, bullying, and litigation.

Green Valley Ranch, a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning property, is the first boutique luxury resort built off the Las Vegas Strip, according to the company. Green Valley Ranch has approximately 495 hotel rooms, 2,295 slots, and 48 gaming tables and is owned and owned and operated by Station Casinos, the third-largest private-sector employer in Southern Nevada with 10 casino hotels and 10 casino taverns in the region. Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) became the parent company of Station Casinos through an IPO last year. The company is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who own 10-to-1 super-voting Class B shares of Red Rock Resorts. In addition to Boulder Station, Palace Station, and Green Valley Ranch, the company’s other casino-hotels in Las Vegas include: Red Rock Resort, Palms Casino Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, and Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho.

ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members -who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers- come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for over 82 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226

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POSTED IN:
Station Casino

Dear Gamma Zeta Alpha,

My parents were born in Durango; both in small towns and both to families of eight. Growing up, there were always too many mouths to feed and not quite enough food. They made the decision to come to the United States when my sister was a year old. She would have the opportunity of a better life, one more stable and full than theirs. It wasn’t easy. They lived in a relative’s garage cramped and tense from sharing such close quarters with so many people. My dad worked day and night. For his efforts, he received just enough to afford rent and food. Then we came to Las Vegas.

Both of my parents, Alma and Jorge got jobs at hotels here—her cleaning rooms and him in the laundry. Alma worked her body scrubbing tubs, making beds, and cleaning up guests’ messes. Then she came home to cook and clean after her daughter. Jorge got up early to make breakfast and take my sister to school—then he spent the day in infernal heat cleaning linens soiled by hotel guests. It was not easy. But they were union jobs, so they made enough to pay for their own apartment. They had insurance so when my sister got a bad fever they did not just pray for an improvised cure to work, they took her to the doctor. When a supervisor tried to make Jorge stay after his shift to do extra work for no pay, he responded they could not keep him after without overtime. When Alma was harassed by a guest she filed a report without fear of losing her job.

This is what the union has given my parents. This is what it has given me. I grew up in a secure home—which my parents were paying to own. I never had to worry about helping out financially. I focused on school and got into a college I could only dream of.

My parents work with their bodies. After decades in this work they are tired and they ache with the constant strain on their bodies. But when they retire they have a 50,000 dollar pension waiting for them. They own a home so they will not have to worry about finding a place to live. And they will exit the workforce with dignity. This is what our union does. This is what we are fighting for.  

Gamma Zeta Alpha is holding an event at a non-union casino, where workers have been dreaming of the conditions I just described. It is one thing for a big corporation to undermine workers, but it is another for a group of young Latinos. It would be shocking and painful for this majority immigrant workforce to see you siding with the company. Don’t give the company one more way to discourage the workers.

Please do the right thing and move the 30-year gala out of the Palms Casino.

Sincerely,

Cassandra Muñoz

Customer Outreach Intern

Culinary Workers Union Local 226

(702) 383-7922

POSTED IN:
Station Casino

Here is recent correspondence between SNCCIM members and the Culinary Workers Union. The responses range from “I consider this harassment” to “I would vote to stay at the Palms Casino all the more because I received her email.”

 

snccim_castrignano_email

SNCCIM holds a monthly luncheon at Palms Casino Resort, now owned by Station Casinos. We encourage SNCCIM to move their event out of Palms Casino Resort and into a venue free of dispute. 

See the rest of the emails here

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