June 2012, Week 1


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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
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Mon, 4 Jun 2012 01:02:22 -0400
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Hotel and Casino Union Victories

1. Boston Hilton workers win union recognition campaign
2. Security guards in PA will be the first union to
bargain with the Las Vegas Sands empire 

Hilton Boston Downtown Workers Unionize

By Katie Johnston, Boston Globe staff
May 31, 20012


After nine months of sit-ins, picketing, and
discussions with management, hotel workers at the
Hilton Boston Downtown on Friday will become part of
the local hospitality workers’ union.

Many of the 75 housekeepers, front desk attendants, and
other employees at the Financial District hotel will
get a $2-an-hour pay increase and become eligible for
health insurance through Unite Here Local 26, said
union president Brian Lang. Previously, he said, many
of them were enrolled in MassHealth, the public health
insurance program for low-income residents. The
contract also guarantees the workers job security if
the hotel is sold and regulates workloads by union

By agreeing to let its workers unionize, the hotel has
“agreed to be part of the partnership that allows our
communities to grow as the industry thrives in Boston,”
Lang said.

Management at the Hilton Boston Downtown, run by LXR
Luxury Resorts & Hotels, declined to comment.

The Hilton workers join 900 other food service and
hotel workers who have become Local 26 members in the
past year, including employees at Northeastern
University, Harvard Law School, the Ames Hotel, and the
W Boston hotel. About 55 percent of hotel workers in
Boston and Cambridge are unionized.

Security Guards Form First Union In Las Vegas Sands'

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Sands
Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa., to begin bargaining
with its 130 security guards as a labor union.

By Matt Assad
LA Times

June 2, 2012


Over the last 23 years Sheldon Adelson has built Las
Vegas Sands Corp. into the world's largest casino
company — bigger than the next 10 competitors combined.

He's done it without having a single one of his 40,000
workers in Las Vegas, Asia and Bethlehem, Pa., join a
labor union.

Now a band of security guards making $13 an hour may be
on the verge of ending the world's 14th-richest
person's winning streak.

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Sands
Casino Resort Bethlehem to begin bargaining with its
130 security guards as a labor union. Pending an appeal
to a federal court, Local 777 would become the first
union in Las Vegas Sands' $35-billion gaming empire.

The NLRB ruling, dated Wednesday, says Sands engaged in
unfair labor practices by refusing to bargain with the
guards, and ordered casino officials to recognize that
the guards are a union.

Sands officials called the ruling routine and pledged
to appeal the matter to a federal appeals court in
Washington, D.C.

"It's been a good clean fight, but it's time to sit
down and start talking," said George Bonser, lead
delegate for the local unit of the Law Enforcement
Employees Benevolent Assn. "They certainly fought us
every step of the way, but I'm hoping we can finally
start bargaining."

Though a relatively small bargaining unit in Las Vegas
Sands' smallest casino, the guards could find
themselves an unlikely victor against a casino company
whose founder has aggressively resisted organized labor
for more than two decades. In Las Vegas, Adelson is one
of the few casino owners who has been able to keep the
powerful, 60,000-member culinary union out of his
gambling resorts, in part by paying his workers more
than union workers.

At one point, Adelson even fought to keep culinary
union workers from leafleting on the public sidewalk
outside the Venetian. When police and local courts told
him he couldn't, he spent eight years appealing the
ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court before giving up.

The guards in Bethlehem first asked to seek
certification in May 2011 and voted in July to
unionize. They called themselves Local 777, the so-
called lucky numbers Sands uses in its address and
phone number.

"We weren't trying to be smart or disrespectful,"
Bonser said. "We just kind of liked it."

Sands appealed several of their efforts and, last
August, alleged that the guards had intimidated their
colleagues into voting to unionize. Those allegations
were withdrawn and the guards sought to begin
bargaining for a contract in March, but Sands officials
refused, according to the NLRB ruling.

In its order, the NLRB directs Sands to recognize the
union and begin bargaining.


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