Federal government finds Station Casinos’ Palms in violation of federal labor law, orders it to bargain with Culinary and Bartenders Unions



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088

Federal government finds Station Casinos’ Palms in violation of federal labor law, orders it to bargain with Culinary and Bartenders Unions 

Las Vegas, NV – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, D.C. issued a decision and order last week finding that Station Casinos’ Palms Casino Resort has unlawfully refused to recognize and bargain with the Culinary and Bartenders Unions.

The NLRB panel, comprised of two Trump appointees and one Obama appointee, voted unanimously to certify the April 27 and 28, 2018 union election. Station Casinos, Nevada’s third-largest private employer, is now operating in violation of federal labor law at the Palms by refusing to recognize and bargain with the Unions. The Palms cannot change working conditions for unionized employees without bargaining with the Unions, and any such changes are illegal.  

“We demand that Station Casinos recognize their workers’ voices and votes at the Palms and begin contract negotiations in good faith immediately,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. 

“This is everything that we have been fighting for over the last four years,” said Melissa Zamarron, a buffet food server who has worked at the Palms for 18 years. “I’m excited to join negotiations with the workers from Boulder, Palace, and Green Valley Ranch. I voted YES because I want to be able to take care of my family with the Union health plan.”  

NLRB members Lauren McFerran, Marvin E. Kaplan, and William J. Emanuel wrote May 13, 2019:


The Respondent does not offer to adduce at a hearing any newly discovered and previously unavailable evidence, nor has it shown any special circumstances that would require the Board to reexamine the decision made in the representation proceeding. We therefore find that the Respondent has not raised any representation issue that is properly litigable in this unfair labor practice proceeding.


By failing and refusing since May 17 to recognize and bargain with the Union as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the employees in the appropriate unit, the Respondent has engaged in unfair labor practices… 


Having found that the Respondent has violated Section 8(a)(5) and (1) of the Act, we shall order it to cease and desist, to bargain on request with the Union, and, if an understanding is reached, to embody the understanding in a signed agreement. To ensure that the employees are accorded the services of their selected bargaining agent for the period provided by law, we shall construe the initial period of the certification as beginning on the date the Respondent begins to bargain in good faith with the Union. 

Station Casinos has said many times that it would respect their employees’ right to hold an NLRB election:

During a two-day NLRB election at the Palms, 614 workers voted and 84% voted “YES” for the union, but instead of recognizing that result, Station Casinos has tried to overturn the election through a series of unsuccessful and lengthy legal challenges. The May 13, 2019 ruling by the NLRB is the latest legal setback for Station Casinos, which has lost at every round, and yet the company says it will continue to fight the Culinary and Bartenders Unions’ election victory in the courts.    

Approximately 900 Palms workers are represented by Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE.

Workers at a Station Casinos-managed tribal casino in California ratified a first union contract in October 2015. Station Casino workers at four Las Vegas properties have unionized following NLRB elections: Boulder Station (September 2016), Palace Station (March 2017), Green Valley Ranch (November 2018), and the Palms (April 2018).

Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) became the parent company of Station Casinos through an IPO in 2016. The company is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, billionaire supporters of President Donald Trump. In addition to the unionized Boulder Station, Palace Station, Green Valley Ranch, and the Palms, the company’s other casino-hotels in Las Vegas include: Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson, and Fiesta Rancho.



Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 280,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 130,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project. 

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 84 years. 


More News

Get Connected