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Calling the Culinary Union’s Bluff
For several years now, observers of labor policy have noted the disruptive activities of UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union in Nevada. Dating back to 2012 this blog has reported on the scorched earth tactics the union has used against Stations Casino, which harm both workers at the casino and the Las Vegas community as a whole. The Culinary Union’s goal has always been to pressure the casino into recognizing the union through the undemocratic card check process instead of through a secret ballot election held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Now, the Culinary Union is up to their old tricks, but with a new target: the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Earlier this fall, the union filed two complaints against the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The first complaint claims that hotel staff and management offered benefits to employees who didn’t engage in union organizing efforts. The second complaint claims that the Hard Rock has deprived workers of their Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the right to engage in “concerted activity.” The complaint uses the boilerplate language that “hotel management interfered with, coerced and restrained,” employees trying to unionize.
These unsubstantiated allegations against the Hard Rock Hotel are par for the course from the Culinary Union, which invariably uses NLRB complaints for public relations purposes and to put pressure on a targeted employer. One can expect to see the union roll out some of its other standard tactics, such as raucous protests, allegations of mistreatment of employees, and efforts to discourage customers from visiting the hotel.
Unfortunately, the cost of the union’s games comes at the workers' expense. Hopefully the NLRB, and the public, will call the Culinary Union’s bluff and tell them that when it comes to their reckless campaign tactics, it’s time to fold.