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Culinary to begin bargaining talks with Palace Station

Updated March 15, 2017 - 2:38 pm

The Culinary union is expected to begin collective bargaining contract talks soon following a settlement with management of the Palace Station.

The union reported late Tuesday that Station Casinos agreed to settle an unfair labor practices complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board by Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, which represent about 57,000 casino workers statewide. The complaint was filed in the wake of a close representation vote the union lost at Palace Station.

In October, a lawyer for the union petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a new vote after a final vote of 266-262.

The union alleged the company promised lower health-care premium costs at every Station property except Boulder Station, whose employees had just approved union representation.

Under terms of the settlement, the company also agreed to reimburse Boulder Station workers who were denied lower health-care costs after they voted to unionize in September. In that election, Culinary prevailed in a 355-177 vote.

The union has now been established in three Station-operated properties, including the Graton Resort &Casino in Northern California.

“We commend the Palace Station workers for their courage and resilience in the face of the company’s massive anti-union campaign,” Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary union, said in a release announcing the settlement. “We look forward to starting contract negotiations so that workers can have fair wages, job security and good health benefits.”

Station officials said they agreed to settle to avoid a protracted dispute.

“In October, the Culinary Workers Union was narrowly defeated in a secret ballot election held at the property, which was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board,” the company said through an emailed statement. “However, the union objected to the election results, claiming that Palace Station interfered with the conduct of a free and fair election.

“Rather than engage in lengthy, disruptive and distracting proceedings, the company has decided that it would be in its best interests to proceed with negotiations with the union as the collective bargaining representative at Palace Station for the eligible bargaining unit team members at that property.”

Company officials did not address the complaint issues.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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