The management of Station Casinos had to recently acknowledge that the vast majority of their eligible employees wanted to be represented by the Culinary Local 226 union, which is the biggest union in Southern Nevada having more than 57,000 members.
The National Labor Relations Board had conducted a secret-ballot election during the first week of September and got a good response as 532 out of the 576 employees voted, with 355 voting in favor of being represented by the Culinary Local union and 177 voting against the union. The results meant that the Boulder Station casino now becomes the first property of Station Casinos in Nevada to unionize. Back in July 2014, employees at the tribally owned and Stations operated, Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park, California were responsible for ratifying the first union contract.
The Culinary Union secretary-treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline was full of praise for the courage and determination shown by employees of the Boulder Station casino who managed to ignore the anti-union propaganda which increased over the last couple of weeks. Kline stated that the employees made the right choice by deciding to unionize and the union was looking forward to entering into contract negotiations with Stations Casinos.
Maria Portillo, an employee of the Boulder Station casino stated that a union contract allows the employees to have fair wages, job security, a pension and good healthcare plans. Portillo stated that Boulder Station had enjoyed a lot of success due to the hard work put in by the employees and now it was the right time for the employees to be compensated fairly and provide for their families.
In a statement found on the LVRJ, Richard Haskins, president of Station Casinos said “While we are disappointed with the manner in which the union conducted the Boulder Station election campaign and with the election result, we accept it and will satisfy our legal obligation to bargain in good faith, with a sincere desire to reach agreement. We trust this brings an end to the corporate terrorism campaign waged by the union against us that was based on the falsehood that the U.S. government is incapable of conducting a secret-ballot election.”
Station Casinos stated that it plans to begin a collective bargaining process with the Culinary Union shortly. The Culinary Union generally organizes its campaigns on a property to property basis and not as a casino group. The union did not disclose why it decided to target Boulder Station as the first property or disclose which property it plans to target next.
According to reports, the director of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research, David Schwartz stated that he was surprised that the majority of employees decided to back the union but said it was too soon to confirm if the union had a major victory as that would be determined only after the terms and conditions of the contract are finalized and how long it takes to be finalized.