Palace Station Casino Workers Vote to Exit Culinary Union, But Labor Group Wins Fiesta Henderson Dispute

Posted on: September 23, 2020, 03:41h. 

Last updated on: September 24, 2020, 08:41h.

Palace Station casino workers have spoken, and it’s not what the powerful Culinary Union wanted to hear.

Palace Station Casinos Las Vegas Culinary
Station Casinos workers at Palace Station, which includes cleaning and sanitation team members, are ending their relationship with the Culinary Union. (Image: Station Casinos)

Station Casinos, the operating subsidiary of the publicly traded Red Rock Resorts, said this week that employees at the off-Strip casino resort voted to sever ties with the Culinary Union and negotiate their own contracts.

Our Team Members at Palace Station have spoken. Station Casinos respects their decision and certainly appreciates the confidence that our Team Members have placed in us,” Station Casinos Chief Operating Officer Bob Finch said in a statement.

Palace Station workers voted 266-262 in March of 2017 against unionizing and joining the Culinary Union. The union countered that Station Casinos management interfered with the election and influenced votes.

After federal investigators with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) indicated they would issue a complaint against Station Casinos, the company settled with the NLRB and allowed Palace Station to unionize. However, the company has since refused to formally enter into a union contract with the Culinary Union.

Station employees at Palace Station’s sister property, Boulder Station, voted in the same manner on a de-unionization petition last month.

Union Responds

Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, says Station Casinos is acting in bad faith and “not doing the right thing.”

“Station Casinos has withdrawn union recognition at Boulder and Palace Station. The Culinary Union believes it has done so unlawfully. Station Casinos continues to disrespect their workers by wasting time with litigation and union-busting efforts,” Argüello-Kline declared.

“The Culinary Union has filed an unfair labor practice charge regarding the withdrawal and has demanded to negotiate immediately,” she added.

Station Casinos said it has no longer has an obligation to negotiate with the union, and will instead deal directly with its workers.

“We look forward to having the same great direct relationships with this group of Team Members as we have with our Boulder Station, Red Rock, and Santa Fe Station Team Members,” Finch explained. All of those properties are casinos without union contracts for workers.

Henderson Victory

It wasn’t all bad news for the Culinary Union. The union issued a statement today saying an NLRB hearing officer recently ruled in its favor against Station Casinos regarding its Fiesta Henderson property.

Workers at the Henderson casino voted a year ago this month to be represented by the Culinary Union. Station Casinos has yet to reach a union contract.

The hearing officer has recommended to the NLRB that it dismiss Station Casinos’ objections to the Fiesta Henderson September 2019 election, and require the casino company to negotiate with the union.

I recommend that the Employer’s objections be overruled in their entirety,” stated NLRB Hearing Officer Alvaro Medina.

“The Employer has failed to meet the Board’s standard and therefore has not provided evidence that raises a reasonable doubt as to the fairness and validity of the election. Therefore, I recommend that an appropriate Certification of Representative issue,” Medina wrote.

A Culinary press release celebrated the NLRB recommendation, and called on Station Casinos to “immediately negotiate and settle a fair contract.”