NLRB to supervise union vote at Indian-run casino

Hartford, Connecticut (AP) July 2010

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered a union election at the Foxwoods Resort Casino to the dismay of the Indian-run operation.

The United Food and Commercial Workers wants to represent about 360 bartenders, beverage servers and others at the casino in eastern Connecticut. But the casino maintained that Mashantucket Pequot labor relations law should apply.

A date for an election has not yet been set.

The July 7 ruling was similar to an earlier NLRB decision in favor of the United Auto Workers, which represents nearly 3,000 table-games dealers at Foxwoods. But in the current case, Foxwoods and the union had agreed to negotiate a contract that recognizes tribal law.

Jonathan B. Kreisberg, the NLRB’s regional director, said the tribe’s labor relations law was not comparable to the National Labor Relations Act. Tribal law bans strikes, exempts employee safety and other issues from collective bargaining and requires tribal licensing of union business agents, he said.

Foxwoods said it would appeal the NLRB ruling.

“While we are disappointed and disagree with the decision we are not surprised given the (NLRB’s) previous statements and position on this issue,” Foxwoods said in a statement.

Union president Brian Petronella said he was not surprised because of the previous decision affecting the auto workers union.

The NLRB asserted its jurisdiction over tribal businesses in 2004. The board said tribes were covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which bars unfair labor practices and gives workers the rights to organize and bargain with employers.

The NLRB order requires Foxwoods to give the union a list of all eligible voters within seven days.




0
0
0