Judge rules Flamingo violated labor law during unionization drive
5 July 2012
Flamingo Las Vegas security officers have voted against joining a union, but the union’s dispute with the property likely will continue for some time.
An administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board on June 25 found the hotel-casino beginning in September had violated federal labor law in its dealings with the officers after learning a union-organizing drive was under way.
Judge Gregory Meyerson found supervisors had threatened employees with reprisals for engaging in protected activities and, among other things, had interrogated employees about their union activities and caused them to believe such activities were being monitored.
Meyerson ordered the Flamingo not to violate the labor law and to post a notice to employees advising them of his findings and of their right to either participate or not participate in union organizing.
The order must be posted at the Flamingo and sister properties Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon and O’Sheas, though O’Sheas is now closed to make way for The Linq attraction.
Meyerson described one of the violations this way:
During a pre-shift meeting for the officers, supervisors told them the Flamingo was trying to improve its customer satisfaction scores and managers had adopted a “believe or leave” phrase to motivate employees in all departments.
When a union organizer during the meeting suggested comments by a supervisor were threatening and harassing toward the officers, the organizer was called into a manager’s office and was told he was “inciting the men” and he “needed to stop making those comments or there would be consequences.”
This “consequences” comment “constituted a threat of an unspecified reprisal,” Meyerson wrote in his ruling.
A spokesman for Caesars Entertainment Corp., owner of the Flamingo, said Thursday that the company plans to appeal the judge’s order and that because of the appeal, it didn’t have any further comment.
In a process that may take a year or longer, NLRB board members likely will rule on the appeal after both sides submit more legal briefs.
The ruling came as a result of charges filed by the International Union, Security, Police, Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA).
The SPFPA on March 29 lost a union representation vote at the Flamingo, with the officers voting 64-46 against the union. The union is challenging the election, and proceedings on its objection are set for later this month.
The administrative law judge’s ruling in the case is among several recent NLRB actions involving Las Vegas casinos.
Besides ruling last week in a Culinary Union/Station Casinos LLC case, NLRB board members this week upheld a 2010 ruling by an administrative law judge finding two Transport Workers Union supporters had been unlawfully fired or disciplined by Wynn Las Vegas.
That case involved dealers and Wynn’s controversial policy of requiring them to share tips with managers.
Wynn Las Vegas hasn’t indicated if it will appeal this week’s ruling through the court system, and a spokesman on Thursday said the company didn't have any comment on it.
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