For the past several weeks, the Las Vegas Culinary Union has protested against the Palms Casino-Resort over refusal to allow workers to unionize. It’s become a major issue for the casino, which has been dealing with numerous pickets. Now is the perfect time to look deeper into the Palms-Culinary Union fight.
There’s obviously a lot happening between these two groups. Both are adamant that they are right. Let’s look back at the history of this dispute, and talk about what to expect in the future.
Station Casinos Refuses Workers to Unionize
This issue really lies with Station Casinos. This casino company started in 1976 and has grown to become one of the gambling operators in Nevada. In May of 2016, Station Casinos purchased the Palms Las Vegas Resort for $313 million.
This company has been largely anti-union for years. The owners have repeatedly refused its casino workers to join the infamous Culinary Union. Despite more than 80% of the workers voting to unionize, the company has not changed its stance. Recently, this union group has begun to fight back.
In late June, this union picketed outside the Palms Casino. More than 1,000 employees here protested against Station Casinos’ decision. It didn’t have the desired effect, as officials in the company still refuse any offers to unionize.
The Culinary Union isn’t giving up. This week, the union announced that they were teaming up with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) to help their cause.
Culinary Union Teams Up with the APALA
Most analysts predicted that this conflict would continue. The Culinary Union has a track record of persistence dating back years. The APALA has confirmed that it will picket outside the Palms Resort alongside workers.
APALA National President Monica Thammarath recently commented on the partnership in an official statement.
“As the nation’s largest labor organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander workers, it is especially meaningful for us to be here in support of the Culinary Union, a diverse union with 15 percent AAPI membership, and Nevada’s largest AAPI organization.”
Employees at six of Station Casinos gaming venues have now voted to unionize. Most recently, workers at the Fiesta Rancho casino made the decision to unionize despite the strict rules against it.
Hope is that with enough pressure, Station Casinos will be forced to change its stance. Interestingly, some major politicians have begun voicing their opinions on the matter. What can we expect to happen here?
Politicians Voice Their Opinion on the Palms-Culinary Union Battle
This fight is beginning to reach the ears of the country’s top politicians. This week, Vermont Senator and Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders gave his opinion on the matter in a Tweet. Unsurprisingly, Senator Sanders is siding with the workers.
“@Palms workers voted to unionize because they are fighting for better pay, better benefits, job security, and respect and dignity on the job,” Sanders wrote. “It’s time for the Palms’ billionaire, Trump-supporting owners to stop ignoring the law and start negotiating with their workers.”
Just a day later, Mayor Pete Buttigieg also voiced his support for the workers. It’s clear that the Palms-Culinary Union fight is escalating.
Back in May, the National Labor Relations Board found that the Palms was “failing and refusing to bargain collectively and in good faith,” with the Culinary Union. The NLRB is arguing that Station Casinos is breaking the nation’s labor laws. These groups are currently tied up in court appeals over the decision.
There are still a number of steps needed before any of these parties can win. Station Casinos continues to fight against the unions, while the Culinary Union continues its push to have its workers represented. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on the situation over the next few months!