dealers near vote on union
Howard Stutz, Las Vegas Gaming Wire
VEGAS, Nev. - The National Labor Relations Board
is expected to quickly schedule an election at which Wynn
Las Vegas dealers can decide if they support having the
union negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the
Transport Workers Union of America, which is hoping to organize
the Wynn dealers, filed documentation for union authorization
with the National Labor Relations Board.
union has filed a petition with sufficient support for us
to proceed," Steve Wamser, the NLRB's deputy regional
attorney for Las Vegas, said Monday. "We've scheduled
a hearing, but we're not sure if there are any issues that
would require a hearing. We plan on talking with both parties
to work out an election agreement."
representatives said they spent less than a week collecting
signed union authorization cards from an "overwhelming
majority" of the eligible dealers at Wynn Las Vegas,
but would not say how many workers constituted the majority.
The casino employs almost 700 dealers.
Transport Workers, a New York-based union that is affiliated
with the AFL-CIO, represents 130,000 workers across the
country in mass transportation, airlines, railroads, utilities,
higher education and municipalities.
Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal expressed little concern
Monday about a pending union authorization vote by dealers.
He said the NLRB filing "is part of the exercise the
company anticipated" when "a vocal minority"
of the property's dealers protested a highly publicized
change in how the casino pools and divides the tips earned
by casino workers. The saga has dragged on for more than
September, Wynn executives added certain managers and casino
supervisors to the list of those who qualify to share in
the casino's often-times lucrative tip pool. Wynn dealers
said that before the tip pooling program was started, they
could earn $100,000 or more annually.
Las Vegas management said it started the policy to correct
a pay disparity that had dealers earning more than their
supervisors. Critics argued Wynn Las Vegas should raise
managers' pay, not broaden the tip pool. Dealers say the
change is costing them as much as $20,000 per year.
said dealers were upset because of the decrease in their
pay. However, he added, dealers at Wynn are paid more than
at any other resort in Las Vegas.
underlying reason for instituting this change seems to have
been validated," Pascal said. "We have an improved
level of service, we're getting great candidates for open
positions and people are still very well compensated for
the job they do."
said the dealers still angry about the program "believe
the only way they can overcome making less money is by organizing."
said Wynn Las Vegas is not anti-union. The resort has a
lengthy contract with Culinary Workers Local 226 that expires
in 2015 and "has a long history of working together
constructively with the Culinary."
dispute prompted complaints by dealers to the state labor
commissioner, small sidewalk protests outside the casino
and a lawsuit by two dealers. Both the complaints to the
labor commissioner and the lawsuit were dismissed.
Friday in Carson City, Assembly Bill 357, which could have
ended the Wynn tip pooling arrangement, died in the Nevada
Assembly's Judiciary Committee.
been very disheartening with all the different letdowns
along the way," said Josephine Tang, who has been a
blackjack and baccarat dealer at Wynn since the resort opened
in April 2005. "We're hoping the NLRB will schedule
a vote shortly and by forming the union, we will be able
to secure and protect our pay and benefits."
Wynn dealer Kanie Kastroll said joining the union would
committee is made up of dealers from all backgrounds with
literally hundreds of years experience from dozens of casinos,"
Kastroll said. "Believe me, we know what we want as
dealers, and we are ready to start working toward it."
said the company knew the tips per share would decrease
when the program began because the pool has more participants.
However, last month's tip pooling, he said, marked the first
time since September that the tips per share was a comparable
figure to the same month a year ago.
is a trend I hope we can continue, but it just points to
the benefits of the overall restructuring in the program,"
vote for union representation by dealers at Wynn Las Vegas
could mirror a movement in Atlantic City.
at four of the New Jersey gaming community's 11 casinos
petitioned in recent weeks for an election to join the United
week, dealers at Bally's said they would seek representation
by the UAW.
casinos held elections last month. Dealers at Caesars and
the Trump Plaza voted in favor of joining UAW. Dealers at
the Trump Marina are scheduled to vote on union representation
City is a different set of circumstances," Pascal said.
"I don't believe there is a comparison."
if Wynn dealers vote to approve union representation, it's
uncertain if a contract can be reached
2001, the Transport Workers Union moved to organize dealers
at 13 casinos, winning elections at the Tropicana, Stratosphere
and New Frontier, but was defeated at other properties.
effort was eventually dropped.