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Engineers union holds rally for contract at Resorts World

Around 100 members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 501 rallied outside Resorts World Las Vegas Friday to call attention to alleged unfair labor practices by resort managers.

A spokeswoman for the union said the rallyists “wanted the company to commit to what they agreed to.”

The hourlong rally also drew several Nevada elected officials.

Speakers included Assemblywomen Susan Martinez, Selena Torres and Cecelia González addressing concerns about Resorts World’s actions.

Union officials say 3,000 union jobs were promised by Genting Group, operators of Resorts World, when the resort opened nearly a year ago in June.

The IUOE began organizing efforts for more than 100 facilities maintenance workers and gaming equipment technicians in October and sought a union representation vote. But union officials allege Resorts World management attempted to discourage organizing efforts and hired a third-party “union buster” to head off a vote.

In April, the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against Resorts World, stating that company management committed federal labor law violations during the campaign, including worker surveillance and intimidation, as well as issuing threats against organizing workers and promises to those defying a vote.

Thirteen state senators and Assembly representatives wrote a letter dated Friday to Resorts World President Scott Sibella encouraging company leaders to recognize the union.

“As Nevada state legislators, we stand in solidarity with the Resorts World facilities and gaming tech workers,” the letter stated. “Across Nevada, unions have improved our families’ quality of life by increasing wages, benefits and improving working conditions. For several months, Resorts World workers have made attempts to bargain in good faith with the company. It is imperative that Resorts World do the right thing and recognize the value of the facilities and gaming tech workers.”

In an unattributed emailed response, Resorts World said the company has been respectful of the union selection process.

“Just this week, we announced a negotiated agreement with the Culinary and Bartenders unions which speaks to our respect for the union process and the decision of our team members,” the statement said.

“We have been respectful of the process and have acted in good faith with the IUOE. We support our team members’ right to vote in a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board,” it said. “Team members voted in one IUOE election and chose not to select the IUOE as their representative. A second vote was taken for a larger group of team members, but IUOE instead requested that the NLRB block the ballot count. We do not believe it is appropriate to take any further action until the votes of our team members are allowed to be counted and their voices can be heard.”

Earlier in the week, the Culinary union announced it had reached a three-year contract agreement with Resorts World that is scheduled to take effect Wednesday. The Culinary contract, ratified May 20, represents 2,000 guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers at Resorts World.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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