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Station Casinos says property’s workers seek to decertify union

Updated April 22, 2024 - 7:40 pm

Culinary Local 226 members at a Station Casinos property have decided to remove the union as their representative.

The locals casino operator said Monday that a majority of Culinary employees at Sunset Station in Henderson signed an employee-led petition to decertify the union. About 80 percent of workers voted to join the union in June 2019.

Company officials say they withdrew recognition of the union as an authorized bargaining agreement, according to a statement.

Scott Kreeger, president of Station’s parent company Red Rock Resorts, said the company appreciated the support from workers.

“We look forward to having the same great direct relationships with this group of Team Members as we have with our Boulder Station, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station and Durango Team Members,” Kreeger said in a statement.

Culinary and Station Casinos have long had an acrimonious relationship. The union has been trying to unionize Station properties for years, with some successful campaigns. But Station Casinos and the union have not signed a contract at any properties, and the company was ordered to bargain in good faith with union employees at Red Rock Resort in a 2021 court decision.

Similar decertification efforts occurred at Boulder and Palace Stations in 2020. The company said then that it would not recognize the union as representatives of those workers. The union has alleged in an NLRB complaint that those actions were unlawful.

In a statement Monday, Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said Station Casinos has a “shameful history of anti-worker behavior, and losing,” and alleged company managers encouraged union decertification. He said he believes withdrawal of recognition at Sunset Station is unlawful.

“The Culinary Union will file an unfair labor practice charge regarding the withdrawal and will continue to demand that the company negotiate in good faith towards a union contract. Union busting is disgusting, and the Culinary Union urges Station Casinos to do better,” Pappageorge said in the statement.

The National Labor Relations Board did not respond to requests for comment on the decertification process and whether it has been notified of the change.

Some union decertification processes call for an election and an employer must not participate. But an employer can withdraw their recognition of a union if it believes it has evidence of a majority, UNLV professor Bill Werner said. Werner said he expected Culinary to challenge that to the NLRB like it did previously.

“When there’s a decertification like this, you can say you have a majority of signatures,” Werner, a labor specialist in the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, said. “How did you get it? What did you tell them? Who circulated this petition? The union’s grounds are to challenge that. Of course, it puts them in the same position they were before — Station isn’t bargaining with them. (It’s) more legal mess.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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