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Workers protest at Las Vegas casinos

Fri, Jun 28, 2:17pm by Staff Writer

Las Vegas could be set for an interesting day, with employees from properties owned by Stations Casinos set to protest with picket signs, making their plight known in a very public fashion, Calvin Ayre reports.

According to a press release from Director of Communication and Digital Strategy Bethany Khan of the Culinary Union Local 226, more than 1000 members of the UNITE HERE union, to which Khan’s local pertains, are going to picket outside the casino at 5-6pm this evening.

The move comes after the casino’s brass refused to recognise a legal vote by employees to unionise, leading to allegations of federal employment law violations.

Because the brass won’t accept the results of the union vote, the National Labor Relations Board has had to take its fight to court.

Station Casinos has refused all attempts to negotiate the terms of a union contact with Palms Employees, forcing the NLRB to seek relief through legal channels.

According to Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary Treasurer for the Culinary Union, “Station Casinos always said it would respect the rights of its employees to organise and vote for a union. Yet after workers voted to unionise by 84 per cent at Palms, the company tried to overturn the elections and are now illegally refusing to negotiate.”

Six casinos in Station’s portfolio have been working to unionise, finding resistance at every turn.

These include Boulder Station, which voted in 2016, Palace Station and Green Valley Ranch, which voted the following year, Palms last year and Sunset Station and Fiesta Rancho from earlier this year.

The inability of Station executives to recognise the legality of the union should be enough to question its ability to continue to hold a Nevada gaming licence.

Whether or not companies agree with unions is irrelevant – they’re protected by law and businesses don’t have the option of denying workers’ rights to unionise.

The issue has become so frustrating for Station employees that they are taking their picketing efforts beyond company properties as well.

They announced a few days ago that they would also picket certain business partners of the casino operator across the country, including Bank of America, Citizens Bank, several law firms, a yacht company that build a vessel for Station owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, and others.

Hawaii casino paying back wages to employees

A $3.6 million consent judgment against the developer of a resort casino in Saipan was secured by the US Department of Labor for minimum wage, overtime and record keeping violations by contractors working on the construction project, Khon 2 reports.

The judgment orders Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific International Holdings and its Saipan subsidiary Imperial Pacific International to pay $3.1 million back in back wages and liquidated damages to around 1,100 employees.

The developer of the Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel and Casino must also pay $200,000 in civil money penalties.

The settlement follows an investigation by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division that found wage violations occurred when foreign-based construction subcontractors failed to pay their workforce the required overtime premium rates for horus worked beyond 40 in a work week.

Investigators also found some of the subcontractors’ day rates placed employees’ earnings below federal minimum wage.

“This judgment demonstrates the US Department of Labor’s strong commitment to ensuring employees receive wages they have earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Terence Trotter in Honolulu.

“We will continue to enforce the law and level the playing field, while simultaneously encouraging employers and employees to call us for assistance and use the wide variety of tools we provide.”

“Violations like those found in this investigation can be avoided,” Trotter said.

The Department’s Office of the Solicitor litigated this case.

To date, the Department has found approximately $17.3 million for more than 2,500 employees working on the Saipan hotel and casino project.

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