Union Bullying in Las Vegas
Culinary Workers Local is going after nonprofit groups doing business with non-union Station Casinos.
May 18, 2012 - 12:00 am
A Las Vegas union known for attempting to bully organizations that do business with the non-union Station Casinos is now taking its fight to the nonprofit Tony Hawk Foundation, which builds skateparks in low-income areas to help at-risk youth.
On May 12, the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 sent a letter, since obtained by PJ Media, to the foundation titled “RE: Tony Hawk Foundation Aligned with Troubling and Socially Irresponsible Organizations.”
The “socially irresponsible organizations”? The UFC and Red Rock Casino. The owners of UFC and Red Rock, which is one of several casions owned or managed by Station Casinos, are Frank Fertitta, III and Lorenzo Fertitta.
The union’s issue? Station Casinos is non-union.
In what has become a standard tactic, the union is attempting to damage Station Casinos and enhance their own visibility by picking public fights with organizations that do business with the Fertittas.
Tony Hawk Foundation Executive Director Miki Vuckovich told PJ Media that he was surprised by the letter but that his foundation was not involved in the fight between Station Casinos and the union:
When we received the letter we were surprised there was conflict. I really don’t know what to make of it. It causes us to have to explain this to our donors and board members.
He added that the foundation tries to stay out of such issues. “We stick to our work,” he said.
Victor Joecks, the communications director for the Nevada Policy Research Institute, said this is nothing new for the union, which has been doing this sort of thing for years — including disrupting a catholic school fundraiser.
According to Joecks, the union has been trying (and failing) to unionize the workers at Fertitta properties. The letter reads:
On March 22, over 4,000 casino workers and supporters marched outside Red Rock. They came to support Station Casinos workers who, along with Las Vegas clergy leaders, delivered to Station Casinos executives a landmark petition signed by a majority of Station workers in the classifications represented by the Culinary and Bartenders unions in other hotel-casinos. What Station workers are asking for is simple and reasonable: in the petition, workers are asking the company for a fair process to decide whether to unionize that is free from bullying, intimidation, threats, and litigation.