Red Rock Casino Employee Seeks Dismissal of Union Legal Challenge

Posted on: January 23, 2022, 12:58h. 

Last updated on: January 23, 2022, 03:26h.

At least one Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa worker in Las Vegas says her voice was indeed heard during a 2019 unionization effort. And efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to overturn the result are unjust.

Red Rock Casino Culinary Union NLRB
Culinary Union members cheer during a town hall meeting in early 2020. The powerful casino labor group is seeking to represent workers at Red Rock Casino. (Image: The Nevada Independent)

Raynell Teske, a Red Rock Casino employee, has partnered with the National Right to Work (NRTW), a nonprofit that provides free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been potentially violated by unions. Together, Teske filed an amicus brief last week in the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Crafted with the help of NRTW attorneys, Teske argues that she and her colleagues held a fair union vote in December of 2019. That resulted in Red Rock Casino rejecting the Culinary Union. The secret ballot election tallied 627-534 against joining the powerful casino union.

“Ms. Teske and her coworkers voted decisively against unionization, but an Obama-appointed judge imposed it on them anyway,” NRTW President Mark Mix said in a statement.

Lengthy, Complicated Backstory

Following the union vote rejection, Cornele Overstreet, regional director of the NLRB office that tends to labor complaints filed in Las Vegas, intervened. Overstreet filed a federal injunction in the US District Court of Nevada asking a judge to override the employee vote.

Overstreet said numerous complaints filed with her office from Red Rock Casino workers contended that Station Casinos — owner of the glitzy casino resort located in affluent Summerlin — greatly increased pay and benefits in the lead-up to the vote in order to sway workers from throwing their support behind the union. Overstreet said “card checks” — the process of asking workers on an individual basis to sign forms expressing their union support — revealed widespread majority backing to join Culinary.

In her amicus brief, Teske contends that the actual vote is a more factual representation of union support. She wrote some employees might be inclined to say they are supportive of the union to leaders trying to organize, but have personal reservations.

Teske’s amicus brief argues those ‘card check’ signatures are unreliable evidence of union support, and not reason enough to conclude the union ever had majority support,” a NRTW release to explained. “As the NLRB and federal courts have recognized in other cases, secret ballots are a more reliable way of gauging worker support for a union, because workers are often pressured, harassed, or misled by union organizers into signing cards.”

Next Steps

The 9th Circuit in November upheld the US district court judge’s ruling that Station Casinos must immediately begin bargaining with the Culinary Union. That’s as a separate case to decide whether the casino operator purposely interfered with the union vote plays out.

Teske’s brief seeks the 9th Circuit to reconsider the district court ruling. Meanwhile, Station Casinos is in the process of supplying tens of thousands of emails and internal communications in the weeks leading up to the union vote to the NLRB.

The NLRB has the legal power to settle labor disputes between workers and employers. The board has demanded, and the US district court has ordered, that Stations cooperate. They must supply such confidential information regarding the decision to adjust benefits to the NLRB in order for it to determine if the company purposely interfered with the union effort.