Red Rock Casino slot machine technician Jereme Barrios has asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC, to reverse an NLRB Region’s decision which blocks his and his coworkers’ right to vote out a union that a majority of them have already expressed interest in removing. Barrios is receiving free legal representation from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Barrios submitted a petition to the NLRB Region 28 in March asking the agency to conduct a union “decertification vote” amongst his fellow slot technicians whether to kick out International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 501 officials. The petition contained signatures of a large majority of his colleagues.

However, the Region did not schedule the vote as Barrios and his coworkers had asked. NLRB Region 28 Director Cornele Overstreet instead ruled in April that largely unverified and unrelated allegations (also called “blocking charges”) union officials had made against management of Station Casinos, Red Rock’s parent company, blocked the technicians from exercising their right to vote whether to remove the union.

Barrios’ Request for Review argues that the Region’s decision is unfounded, and requests that the NLRB in Washington, DC, reverse it and allow them to have an immediate decertification vote.

Slot Tech’s Request for Review Criticizes Regional Labor Board Decision as “a Scattershot Mess”

Barrios’ Request for Review begins by explaining that, even if any of the union’s “blocking charges” have merit, the NLRB Regional Director was not adhering to Foundation-backed reforms in the rules regarding “blocking charges” that the NLRB formally adopted in 2020. Under the reforms, “blocking charges” generally do not stop employees from exercising their right to vote in a decertification election. Instead, the NLRB takes up any “blocking charges” surrounding an election after a vote tally has been released.

“The Regional Director ignored the current Election Rules and even refused to cite them,” Barrios’ Request for Review says.

Moreover, Barrios’ Foundation attorneys go even deeper and demonstrate that, even under the old election rules which would have allowed “blocking charges” to stall a decertification election, the union’s allegations against the employer are completely insufficient to block an employee vote.

Barrios’ attorneys show that the majority of the union’s accusations describe alleged employer malfeasance concerning bargaining units other than Barrios’. The Request for Review points out that, by the Region’s logic, “any employer’s unfair labor practice could block any decertification in any of its other units, no matter how remote.”

The remaining “blocking charges,” including an allegation that Red Rock management did not bargain with the union over COVID-19 protections, Barrios’ Request for Review explains, either do not reveal actual violations of federal labor law by Red Rock management or have no causal connection to Barrios and his colleagues’ desire to remove the union. Barrios’ brief notes that Red Rock officials already complied with a consent order regarding the dispute over COVID-19 protections and “likely remedied any violation that could conceivably block an election.”

Foundation Attorneys Aid Other Station Casinos Employees

The slot techs’ effort comes as Red Rock hospitality and foodservice staff, led by Foundation-backed employee Raynell Teske, are battling an order from a federal district court judge that forces them under the “representation” of Culinary Union bosses. The order was issued despite the fact that a majority of the hospitality and foodservice employees voted in a secret ballot election to reject union officials’ effort to install themselves at the casino.

Foundation attorneys also represent Palms Casino engineering worker Thomas Stallings and his coworkers in their decertification effort against IUOE and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) officials. As in Barrios’ case, Stallings’ attorneys argue that regional NLRB officials have left Stallings and his coworkers trapped under the monopoly control of an unpopular union despite the current NLRB rules regarding “blocking charges,” and despite the fact the accusations by union officials against their employer have little if anything to do with Stallings’ work unit.

“Las Vegas is now home to at least three instances where regional NLRB officials have reflexively indulged union boss requests to remain in power at workplaces where a clear majority of workers want the union gone,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Las Vegas is indeed ‘Sin City,’ if the sin is disrespecting workers’ fundamental right to choose freely whether or not union bosses should speak for them.”

“Foundation attorneys are proud to stand by these courageous workers, who are fighting not only union coercion but an NLRB Regional Director seemingly determined to undermine the rights of workers opposed to union affiliation,” Mix added.

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