Late last week, the employees of the Fiesta Henderson Hotel and Casino voted to unionize. They want to be represented by the Bartenders Union Local 165 and the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. Both of these unions are part of the UNITE HERE labor union in Nevada. The UNITE HERE group represents around 30,000 active members in the US as well as Canada. With the approval, the venue becomes the 7th property owned by Station Casinos that has approved unionization.
On Friday, the employees of the Fiesta held a secret vote where 57% were in favor of becoming unionized. With the positive outcome, the employees of the casino and hotel can have representation via the two unions.
Within the past three years, several properties owned by Station Casinos have approved unionization. Such venues include Boulder Station, Fiesta Rancho, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, the Palms and Sunset Station.
After the vote, the union groups began to call on Station Casinos to negotiate and settle a fair contract with employees. Despite the vote in approval of unionization, the company has continued to fight employee efforts. The casino group has denied any negotiations for new contracts with the labor unions.
Picketing in 2019
While the fight has been ongoing for a few years, picketing has ramped up in 2019. Multiple picketing events have taken place at some of the Station Casinos properties, where voting has taken place and unionization approved.
In August, the Palms was part of a protest where employees were trying to push Station Casinos to finally begin negotiations and recognize the vote to unionize by employees.
With the picketing efforts has come support. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance has shown their support, as the Culinary Union has some of their membership. Even political leaders have weighed in, particularly presidential candidates.
Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro each commented on the right to unionize and showed their support for casino employees. Senator Sanders took to Twitter to comment on the Palms situation, stating that workers voted in favor of unionizing because they are fighting for better pay and benefits as well as job security.
Sanders went on to state further that it was time for the ‘Palm’s billionaire, Trump supporting owners to stop ignoring the law’ and begin negotiations with employees. The owners being referenced are Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, as they own the majority stake in the company.
With yet another casino on board for unionization connected to Station Casinos, the company is going to be forced to make a move. They continue to put off negotiations again and again, but the union groups have legal backing and will continue to fight for the employees.
It seems as time goes by, the employee side gains more ground and more support that will hopefully push the casino company to act and make deals that benefit everyone.
We will continue to watch the venues of Station Casinos as they fight for unionization and report on any changes or advancements made in their efforts.