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Culinary Union alleges unfair labor practices at Station Casinos

Updated Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 | 12:09 p.m.

Station Casinos Inc. and the Culinary Union traded barbs today over the union’s effort to organize Station workers.

The Culinary Union said it filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company with the National Labor Relations Board alleging more than 100 incidents of threatening, surveilling, assaulting and intimidating workers for their union activities.

Culinary Local 226 also said hundreds of Station workers formed an organizing committee and have called on the company to "agree to a fair process for workers to form a union free from management interference, intimidation and harassment.''

The union complained a management-led buyout in November 2007 paid Station Casinos insiders $660 million and that since then hundreds of jobs have been lost as the company subcontracted its coffee shops and its uniform department to outside operators.

Station, now operating under bankruptcy protection, has also cut hours, made permanent layoffs, suspended workers’ 401(k) match and raised employees’ health insurance premiums, the union complained.

Other hotel-casino operators, both union and nonunion, have implemented similar cost-cutting measures during the recession.

Scott Nielson, executive vice president and chief development officer at Station, said the company was unaware of any charges filed by the union.

"We recognize and respect our team members’ right to be represented by a union if that’s what they choose to do, but we’re amazed that the union leadership has decided to expend its members’ dues in attempting to organize our team members instead of trying to find jobs for the thousands of Culinary Union members who have been laid off during this recession," Nielson said.

"The facts demonstrate that the Culinary Union has not, and cannot, provide job security for its own members and it’s disingenuous at best for them to tell our team members that they can provide job security for them," he said.

Station has previously responded about union charges concerning the 2007 buyout.

After the union issued a report critical of the buyout, Station responded Nov. 19 by saying: "What the union leaders fail to point out in their `report’ is that the Fertitta family reinvested nearly $900 million in the company as part of the transaction to take the company private, demonstrating their commitment to Station Casinos and the community."

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