Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Union Defeated at Indian Casino in Michigan

Feather News

Last year ended with a union defeat at an Indian casino in Michigan. The housekeeping staff at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe’s Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort voted 192-88 against forming a Teamsters union on December 21.

The Saginaw Chippewas adopted a tribal labor ordinance but union officials are challenging it.

Last February the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that a casino operated on tribal land was subject to federal labor laws, striking down the tribe’s arguments that adherence to the National Labor Relations Act would violate their sovereignty. The Tribe did not appeal the decision. In that case, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, a union was already formed under tribal laws but another union claimed the Tribe was denying it the same access to employees.

Ten months after the San Manuel Band ruling, Foxwoods dealers voted 1,289 to 852 in an election supervised by the NLRB to form a United Auto Workers union to bargain on their behalf with casino management.

The National Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing on January 15th in Hartford to address the Mashantucket Pequot Nation's complaints that the November union vote held at Foxwoods Resort Casino should be invalidated because of improper election conduct on the part of the United Auto Workers union.The NLRB has already dismissed a Mashantucket complaint that was based on its tribal sovereignty.