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Trumka says national AFL-CIO boycott of Station is "on the table."
@RalstonFlash via Echofon
A national AFL-CIO boycott of Station Casino would be a big move. The AFL-CIO knows about a lot of terrible employers, obviously, and calls for boycotts of relatively few of them. So what's Station doing that's so especially bad?

In 2006 and 2007, the company took on massive debt through stock buybacks and a leveraged buyout (PDF), enriching around a dozen large shareholders and officers to the tune of $660 million, but leaving the company with hundreds of millions of dollars in added interest expenses that made it difficult to weather the economic downturn; in 2009, Station filed for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, workers have gone without raises since 2007, and the company has stopped matching contributions to 401(k)s and increased insurance costs. More than 2,800 workers have been laid off, with entire departments subcontracted out.

As Station workers began organizing to join a union, in what's perhaps the largest private-sector organizing campaign in the country right now, Station waged a fierce—and illegal—battle against their efforts. In September, a National Labor Relations Board judge found 87 labor law violations at Station:

The unfair labor practices run the whole gamut of illegal conduct by employers to prevent organizing. It fired, disciplined, threatened, interrogated, offered bribes (promising benefits), and spied on its employees who were organizing for the union. It adopted rules designed to prevent employees from communicating with one another about the union. It told them that it would be futile for them to select the union to represent them. [...]

While the company claims 26% of its workforce is Latino or Hispanic, 78% of the 87 labor law violations found by Judge Carter involve Latino workers.

After not having called a single witness during the trial, Station is appealing the result.

The organizing campaign at Station combines layoffs and wage and benefit cuts as a more or less direct result of a massive payday for a few wealthy people, a brutal anti-union campaign including illegal firings, and apparent targeting of Latino workers for firing. Even if you're not inclined to boycott at the drop of a hat (as I'm not), it's little wonder the AFL-CIO is considering such a move.

Tell Station Casinos to stop firing Latino workers and respect the rights of its workers to join a union.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 01:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My own experience is different with Station (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    Then again I only dealt at a middle level.

    Still very interested.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:00:46 PM PDT

  •  yet another company using "Bain Capital" rules? (0+ / 0-)

    You know:

    "Always Enrich Management at the expense of the workers"!

    Sheesh...

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:53:18 PM PDT

  •  I live in a union household in Vegas (3+ / 0-)

    Stations has for years used every dirty trick to avoid unionization. Since they started several months ago running TV ads knocking the union and touting how fairly they treat their workers, I have known that the union is finally getting deep under their skins.

    May every union worker in the country, and all people who have any sympathy for labor, boycott Stations, the black eye of all hotel/casino companies in Las Vegas.

    I'd rather be spat upon than ignored

    by William W Wraith on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:45:31 AM PDT

  •  You Missed The Punch Line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    congenitalefty, Shockwave

    The Fertittas went private with assistance from Colony Capital, exactly at the top of the market. Then you know what happened to the housing market in Vegas after that.

    The Fertittas got to buy their own company back in Bankruptcy Court for pennies on the dollar, despite a competing offer from Boyd. Colony absolutely got hijacked on this deal, but that's what you get when you evaluate a casino as a real estate deal-and badly at that.

    So, essentially, they got to sell a family owned business to a sucker, picked the sucker's pocket, and got the business back. Since when do you ever see anything this outrageous in BK Court?

    I mean, you only get a deal this good in exchange for your shadow and soul 7 years later. So, I find it hilarious that the Fertittas are still frowning instead of smiling, but you have you understand, the Culinary Union (which is where the primary fight is over) is a very powerful force in both local and state politics. So, the potential for nastiness is huge. None of what Stations is doing surprises me, because the stakes are large indeed.

    Finally, I should add while they love to publicly tout that they're annually one of the 100 Best companies to work for, their pay scale is ridiculously low. You have a lot of people working there living on $25K a year, which you can do in Vegas, but still, that's not exactly a lot of money either. Unionization would definitely drive up costs, but I'm guessing they're doing ok now. That's the thing I suspect they fear the most.

    What's happened so far? Just a warmup, this could get really nasty. Definitely stay tuned.

  •  A boycott would be a big move (0+ / 0-)

    Given the anemic state of labor law, employers can routinely violate it was a minor cost of doing business.  Deploying the power we have outside the NLRA process is what determines whether there will be a fair process, and only then do workers get a real choice about whether to join a union.  Hopefully local community members will pressure the company as well.  

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. @DavidKaib

    by David Kaib on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 07:18:10 AM PDT

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