Workers at This Las Vegas Casino Want to Leave Powerful Union, Says Owner

Members of Las Vegas’ Culinary Local Union 226 at Sunset Station in Henderson have decided to remove the influential union as their representative. That’s according to the Station Casinos’ owners, Red Rock Resorts. 

The Las Vegas locals’ casino operator said Monday that a majority of employees at Sunset Station (pictured) signed a petition to decertify the union. About 80% of workers voted to join the union just five years ago.

“In accordance with our Team Members’ request, Station Casinos has withdrawn its recognition of the Union as an authorized bargaining representative of Sunset Station Team Members,” said a statement from the company.

However, in its own statement, the Culinary Union said it will be investigating the matter. It also accused Station Casinos of having a “shameful history of anti-worker behavior.”

The Culinary Union is the most powerful union in Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2023, it threatened walkouts across all major Las Vegas Strip casino resorts unless workers received new and upgraded contracts, which they eventually obtained. 

Unfair Practices 

Ted Pappageorge is a vocal figure among Sin City unions. During the leadup to potential strikes last year, you could hardly read two pages about Las Vegas news without his name appearing. 

He was up in arms about this latest development at Sunset Station. 

He called the move unlawful and said the union would be filing a legal dispute. 

“The Culinary Union will file an unfair labor practice charge regarding the withdrawal and will continue to demand that the company negotiate in good faith towards a union contract. Union busting is disgusting, and the Culinary Union urges Station Casinos to do better,” Pappageorge said in the statement.

Petition Signed

The federal National Labor Relations Board is open about how employees can opt out of unions. However, it says that as well as a petition, a full vote is usually required.

“At least 30% of your co-workers must sign cards or a petition asking the NLRB to conduct an election,” the board’s rules state. “Unless a majority of the votes cast in the election are in favor of union representation, the union will be decertified.”

Pappageorge says that full vote hasn’t happened yet at Sunset Station, or indeed at any of Station’s other nonunion casinos, like the newly opened Durango Resort. In fact, Station Casinos are basically the only large casino operator in Sin City without a largely unionized workforce.

In 2021, Station parent company Red Rock Resorts was ordered by the courts to restart negotiations with union employees at its flagship, Red Rock Casino Resort. 

However, similar legal efforts from unions looking to represent workers at Station’s properties have so far been unsuccessful.

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