Foxwoods Bartenders Vote in Favor of Union

Foxwoods Bartenders Vote in Favor of Union

ICTMN Staff
5/17/11

Bartenders and other beverage department workers at Foxwoods Resort Casino voted May 16 to affiliate with a Westport, Connecticut-based union, reported the Norwich Bulletin.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation tallied the vote at 133-90, endorsing the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371. The decision affirms the 190-145 vote on July 31 that approved the union. Foxwoods management appealed the first vote on the grounds that it was certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which they allege infringes on American Indian tribal sovereignty and lacks jurisdication over tribal enterprises on its reservation.

"As a result of this process, it will not be necessary for Foxwoods or the union to take any further action with respect to the disputed election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board," the tribe said in a statement issued late Monday night, reported The Day. "The parties anticipate beginning negotiations under tribal law for a collective bargaining agreement in the coming weeks."

The case is before the U.S. court system, stated John Cotter, deputy director at the labor board’s regional office in Hartford, Connecticut, to the Bulletin.

Now that the union is approved through tribal law, contract talks can commence. “We are pleased that the union and the beverage department employees have respected the tribal system, and we are anxious to move forward in a constructive fashion,” Foxwoods President and CEO Scott Butera said in the press release.

Local 371 told Foxwoods' nearly 400 bartenders, beverage servers, lounge hosts and bar porters that talks would begin within two weeks of approving the union in a tribal law election. “It shows the workers are determined to get a union contract under tribal law or any system,” Local 371 Organizing Director Keri Hoehne said Monday after the election results were announced, reported the Bulletin. “We’re now looking forward to sitting down at the bargaining table and reaching a fair agreement.”

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