Federal government rules: Station Casinos top management and owners implicated in massive labor law violations ahead of Station Casinos discrimination trial resuming in July



Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Bethany Khan: bkhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Federal government rules: Station Casinos top management and owners implicated in massive labor law violations ahead of Station Casinos discrimination trial resuming in July 

Las Vegas, NV – Ahead of the Station Casinos’ discrimination trial resuming next month, a three-member federal panel found that Red Rock Casino’s “extensive coercive and unlawful misconduct” between September 2019 and June 2020 “stemmed from a carefully crafted corporate strategy.” 

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered a Cemex bargaining order for Red Rock Casino Resort Spa to bargain with the Culinary and Bartenders Unions, the first such order in a NLRB decision since Cemex issued. The NLRB also issued a Gissel bargaining order in this case.

In its June 17, 2024 decision affirming a 2022 administrative law ruling, the NLRB found that, “the most important unfair labor practices were planned and executed by Red Rock Casino and Station Casinos’ top management and owners.”

The NLRB found that in the weeks prior to the December 17, 2019 union election, Station Casino leadership rolled out benefits such as free family healthcare and an improved 401(k) plan for Red Rock employees, and did so in order to damage the union in the eyes of workers. In addition to its scheme to grant benefits, the NLRB ruled that Red Rock violated the law by threatening to take the benefits away if workers voted to unionize and threatening that unionization would be futile because they company would never agree to anything. 

“The federal government has ruled that Station Casinos’ Red Rock Casino committed massive labor law violations and that upper executives are implicated in a shameful scheme to defeat the worker’s right to have a union,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “This decision affirms what we have been saying for years - that Station Casinos violated the law and the company must bargain with the union because of its unlawful actions that corrupted the prospect for a free and fair union election. Station Casinos needs to stop breaking the law and treat its workers with respect. This company is an outlier in the Nevada gaming industry and it will be held accountable by the federal government. We know that the Fertitta family is part of the Trump MAGA Machine in Nevada, but they, along with Donald Trump, are not above the law.”

According to the NLRB, “the centerpiece of the Respondent’s unlawful campaign was its tripart message promising and granting employees tremendous new benefits without the Union, threatening to withhold or withdraw these benefits if employees selected the Union, and implicitly threatening that selecting the Union could only lead to years of fruitless bargaining without any improvement to working conditions. This highly coercive combination of promises and threats was accompanied by a barrage of further unlawful conduct, including additional threats that selecting the Union would lead to withdrawal of favors, extras, or help that employees could otherwise expect from management, implicit threats of job loss related to strikes, and interrogation and discriminatory treatment of Union supporters.”

In rejecting Red Rock’s defenses, the NLRB called out several Station Casinos executives by name for their unreliable testimony. Chief Financial Officer Stephen Cootey, Chief Legal Officer Jeffrey Welch and now retired Chief Operating Officer Robert Finch, among others, according to the panel “testified with such an unusual degree of evasiveness and wholly implausible forgetfulness that the judge was fully warranted in discounting their testimony as generally unreliable except where independently corroborated or against the [Red Rock Casino’s] interest.”

"I never felt like I was treated equally or fairly when I worked at Red Rock,” said Henry Joyner, a former cook at Red Rock Casino for 7 years. “In 2017, I was hired as a cook. But on my first day, at the start of my shift, I was handed a broom and made to do the job of a kitchen steward. In 2019, I put on my Union button, and I wore it every day with pride. There is a reason why workers at Red Rock chose to be represented by the Culinary Union. In the kitchen I worked, at in Red Rock, there are 9 cooks on my shift. The kitchen is divided into 5 work stations. There should be about 2 cooks per station. But I was made to work alone in my station without support. Tickets come in, food goes down, food gets ready, food gets plated. It’s fast, hard work I had do alone while other cooks on the line had support. The stress of this work caused me to take pain medication. At the start of every shift, I took 3 extra strength Tylenol. Then mid-shift, a 500 Ibuprofen. I did this for a long time, and my doctor told me recently to stop. I want a Union job where I am treated equally. Any discrimination against any worker in the gaming industry needs to stop. And again, I’m sad to say that I never felt like I was treated equally while I worked at Red Rock.”

Station Casinos, its parent company Red Rock Resorts Inc., and its properties face a series of NLRB cases that together constitute one of the largest labor law enforcement actions in American history. Controlling owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta must appear at trial since Station Casinos lost its fight to block an order that they testify.

A federal Administrative Law Judge has ordered 4 consecutive days of hearings beginning July 30, 2024, in an on-going Unfair Labor Practice trial over a complaint issued in April 2021, where government attorneys accuse Station Casinos of unlawful discrimination, engaging in a scheme to use employee layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine unionizing efforts, and unlawfully withdrawing recognition from the union at Palace and Boulder Station.

The 81-page NLRB order details that the company has violated federal labor law and mandates that Station Casinos must post and obey the following notice (in part):

The National Labor Relations Board has found that we violated Federal labor law and has ordered us to post and obey this notice.


*Form, join, or assist a union

*Choose representatives to bargain with us on your behalf

*Act together with other employees for your benefit and protection

*Choose not to engage in any of these protected activities.

*WE WILL NOT coercively question you about your union membership, activities, sympathies, and/or support for Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas affiliated with Unite Here International Union (the Union).

*WE WILL NOT promise, announce, or grant benefits to you in order to discourage you from selecting union representation.

*WE WILL NOT threaten you with the loss, withholding, or withdrawal of benefits if you select union representation.

*WE WILL NOT threaten you with job loss as a result of a strike if you select union representation.

*WE WILL NOT threaten you with unspecified reprisals if you select union representation.

*WE WILL NOT threaten you that selecting a union representative would be futile.

*WE WILL NOT display campaign material during a representation election containing photographs of you without your consent and without a disclaimer stating that the campaign material is not intended to reflect the views of the employees appearing in it.

*WE WILL NOT discipline you because of your support for and activities on behalf of the Union.

*WE WILL NOT discriminatorily assign you work because of your support for and activities on behalf of the Union.

*WE WILL NOT fail to recall or reinstate you from laid-off status because of your support for and activities on behalf of the Union.

*WE WILL NOT fail and refuse to recognize and bargain with the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of our employees in the bargaining unit.

*WE WILL NOT change your terms and conditions of employment without first notifying the Union and giving it an opportunity to bargain.

*WE WILL NOT in any other manner interfere with, restrain, or coerce you in the exercise of the rights listed above.

Station Casinos, the operating subsidiary of Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR), is controlled by billionaires Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. Members of the Fertitta family have been major supporters of Donald Trump and other Republicans, including to unsuccessful political candidates and campaigns: Team McConnell ($292,000 in September 2022), Adam Laxalt for Senate ($46,400 in 2021), April Becker for Congress ($23,200 in 2021), and the Take Back the House 2022 PAC ($303,600 in September 2022).

For more information: AllWhiteAllMale.org, StationsMUDList.org, and the National Labor Board Relations June 21,2024 press release "Region 28-Phoenix Wins Cemex Board Order Requiring Las Vegas Casino Bargain with Union."


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 300,000 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 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members, and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/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 which is 55% women and 60% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry, and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting and winning for working families in Nevada for 89 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226 


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