Filipino Leads Union Drive in Nevada Casinos

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LAS VEGAS -- As unionized public sector workers in Wisconsin and other states fend off attacks on their power to collectively bargain, another union struggle is brewing in Nevada. The Culinary Union Local 226 is trying to organize almost 13,000 workers at 18 hotel-casinos operated by Station Casinos in the southern part of the state. The union, with a 5,000-strong membership, is turning to workers and commitee leaders like Casiano Corpus.

The Filipino-American man leaves his wife and two young children before midnight five days a week for his graveyard shift as a porter at Palace Station Casino. But more than just clocking in hours for a paycheck, Casiano’s daily goal as he goes to work everyday is to convince his fellow employees to sign a small white card that would signify their interest to join the union.

“My aim is to talk to everybody that works in Station Casinos,” Corpuz told Asian Journal in an interview.

Corpus is one of dozens of committee leaders tapped by Culinary Union Local 226 to inform employees of Station Casinos of what they would gain if they organized themselves and become members of the union.

The most notable advantage of being a union member is the “protection” it will give to their jobs because the union will negotiate a contract that will specify job security and a good benefits and compensation package for them, Corpus said.

The Culinary Union has accused Station Casinos of preventing their employees from organizing. The union also said the have given threats and intimidation to workers like Corpus who are actively convincing colleagues to join the union. Both claims have been refuted by Station Casinos Inc.