Local clergy side with union in battle with Station Casinos

Local clergy members have published a letter addressed to Station Casinos urging the company to play along with the Culinary Union’s efforts to organize.

“We have met with workers from Station Casinos, heard their cries for justice, and we cannot stand by idly,” the letter reads. It was written March 29 and signed by more than 80 members of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. “We pray you soften your hearts, hear your workers and agree to a fair process.”

Station officials were not aware of the letter until they were contacted by VEGAS INC.

“No one on this list of religious leaders has contacted us,” spokeswoman Lori Nelson said.

After reviewing the letter, which is posted on the Culinary’s website and was published in El Mundo, Nelson called it nothing more than propaganda.

“It’s full of misinformation and lies,” Nelson said.

While the authors claim numerous Station workers want to organize, Nelson said “the majority” of the company’s 12,000 employees have rejected the idea of unionizing.

“We’ve met with hundreds,” said co-author Kathryn Obenour of Mary Magdalene Friends United Church of Christ. “Many have voiced concerns to me.”

The letter is another shot in a bitter battle between the union and Station Casinos, the largest locals casino operator in Las Vegas.

The Culinary has tried to organize workers there for more than a decade unsuccessfully.

The union made headlines last month after almost 100 of its members blocked Las Vegas Boulevard and let police arrest them in solidarity for union members who have been working at the Cosmopolitan without a contract for almost two years.

Union officials also are slated to sit down with executives of MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment this week to begin new contract negotiations.

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