Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is under federal order to negotiate with security guards union www.privateofficer.com
Bethlehem PA June 2 2012 Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem has been ordered to negotiate with its security guards.
The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is under federal order to negotiate with the union representing security guards.
Sands earlier this year was directed by the National Labor Relations Board to negotiate, but refused, according to a decision posted Wednesday on the board’s website.
A three-member labor relations board panel reviewed the case and ordered the casino company to negotiate. The order also bars any effort by the casino to restrain employees from partaking in union activities. Finally, the order requires Sands to post for 60 days a statement that the casino company violated federal labor law.
The board gave Sands 14 days to comply with the order to post the statement and 21 days to comply with the other requirements.Should Sands casino keep fighting the unionization effort of its security guards?
The guards’ Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association is drafting a letter to Sands requesting a date to begin negotiations, according to union membership coordinator Peter Luck.
“July 22, it’s going to be a year since we voted to get the union in,” said George Bonser, the Bethlehem casino guards’ lead delegate to the law enforcement employees association, or LEEBA. “We were hoping … to sit down and negotiate.”
Sands had taken the guards’ request to negotiate to the federal counts, which returned the case to the labor relations board, Luck said.
A Sands spokeswoman on Friday released a statement that said the company is appealing the case to federal court and called the labor relations board order entered Wednesday “routine.”
“In order to appeal various irregularities which led to the certification of LEEBA, federal law requires Sands to refuse to bargain with LEEBA. With Wednesday’s decision in hand, Sands may now pursue an appeal in federal court. This morning Sands filed a Petition for Review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia,” Sands’ statement says.
Luck said of the Sands’ federal appeal: “They have the right to do that. But our members, at the same time, have the right to organize. … At some point in this process it becomes frivolous. I think we’re at that point.”
Sands will be fighting the National Labor Relations Board in federal court, Luck said, adding that the union won’t be a direct party to that action.
The guards previously said they were seeking a grievance policy, higher wages and reduction of health care premiums. The union represents 100 guards and was the casino’s first group of employees to organize after its May 2009 opening; no other groups have publicly revealed plans to unionize.
Bonser, of Wilson Borough, said the opening of Sands Bethlehem Event Center, the hotel and shops at the casino have expanded the guards’ duties.
“We have a lot of younger guys that have families,” he said. “It may be one of these instances where these guys are going to keep these jobs and make a career out of it.”