On August 6, U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutierrez addressed hundreds of Station Casinos workers and their union supporters during an indoor rally at the Culinary Workers Union. The Illinois Congressman is a leading proponent of comprehensive immigration reform and staunch supporter of workers’ rights.
Rep. Gutierrez was the featured speaker at the event, where he announced his support of Station Casinos workers’ right to organize a union free from employer interference and intimidation and denounced the company’s anti-union campaign which has largely affected its Latino workers. Here are excerpts from the Congressman’s speech at the Aug. 6 rally.
Workers from Station Casinos deeply appreciated the Congressman’s words of support.
"My great grandparents emigrated from Europe in search of a better life for themselves and their children," said Green Valley Ranch bartender Michael Wagner. "They found that better life and I ended up proudly serving in the U.S. Army. I'm really upset that my Latino co-workers are taking the brunt of the company's anti-union campaign. They are standing up for all of us to have a better future."
Last February, workers from Station Casinos went public with their desire to decide whether to form a union free from employer intimidation and harassment. The company responded with an aggressive anti-union campaign leading the federal government to issue a massive 166-count consolidated complaint on August 31, 2010 against Station Casinos charging the company with allegedly violating federal labor law at all ten of its large local resort casinos. Over 80 percent of the charges involve Latino workers. The government has charged the company with trying to stymie workers’ organizing efforts through the use of illegal threats, intimidation, interrogation, surveillance, promise of benefit, discouragement, discrimination, discipline and physical assault.
“It makes me angry that so many Latinos are being affected by the company’s anti-union campaign,” said Norma Flores, a buffet worker at Fiesta Henderson. “We simply want to be able to decide for ourselves whether or not to have a union without the company trying to scare or intimidate us.”
An NLRB hearing on the complaint will be held before an administrative law judge on October 25, 2010.