News & Commentary

November 5, 2023

Swap Agrawal

Swap Agrawal is a student at Harvard Law School.

In this weekend’s news and commentary, GC Abruzzo issues Cemex guidance, and 35,000 Culinary Union members prepare to strike.

On November 2, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo issued a guidance memo describing how the agency plans to implement the Board’s decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC. The memo explained that in the case of employer unfair labor practice(s) which render a recent or pending election a less reliable indicator of current employee sentiment than a current alternative nonelection showing, regions should dismiss the pending election petition and seek a remedial bargaining order. The Board will then rely upon the prior designation of a representative by a majority of employees by nonelection means, such as valid union authorization cards.

GC Abruzzo said that the agency will seek bargaining orders if employers commit “even one” unfair labor practice, including “less serious” violations of Section 8(a)(1) and (3), unless the violations are “so minimal or isolated that it is virtually impossible to conclude that the misconduct could have affected the election results.” The memo shows that the agency intends to be aggressive in its use of Cemex bargaining orders to deter employer unfair labor practice. Finally, GC Abruzzo noted that Cemex did not address situations where an employer may have forfeited or waived its avenue to seek a Board-conducted election due to an agreement or independent knowledge of majority support, and she encouraged parties to submit these cases to the Division of Advice.

On November 2, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 issued a news release stating that 35,000 thousand workers will strike Las Vegas casinos if a five-year contract is not reached by November 10. That’s five days before the opening ceremony of the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, which is expected to bring thousands of people to the Strip. The strike will impact 18 casinos in total, including 8 MGM Resorts properties, 9 Caesars International properties, and Wynn Resorts. Ted Pappageorge, the union’s secretary-treasurer and chief contract negotiator, urged tourists and Formula 1 ticket-holders to support the workers if they go on strike by not coming to Las Vegas or crossing the picket lines. “We will be communicating to ask customers that they should take their business elsewhere,” he said.

Workers cited in the press release said they were ready to strike for wages, job security, and safety. “Safety concerns are a big issue in contract negotiations.” said Kimberly Doppler, a cocktail server at Wynn Las Vegas. “Things happen in the middle of the casino floor, where immediate action needs to be taken, and there’s no security around. I had a guest touch me inappropriately before and it took a while before it was resolved. If we had more safety buttons installed around the bars that would help cocktail servers and bartenders. We need a contract to guarantee that we win these safety protections.”

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