Thursday, April 25, 2013
Second San Diego Country Tribal Casino PAUMA votes to UNIONIZE.
Recently about 100 service and maintenance workers of Casino Pauma gathered on non-tribal land at the Pauma Community Center and voted to attempt to unionize with Unite Here Local 30, a union that currently represents workers at Pala Casino, just a few miles down the road. The meeting was held in Spanish.
Although San Diego County has nine casinos, so far only two of them have unionized. This group hopes to be the third. According to the workers, they have not gotten a raise in four years and are seeing their health care costs rise. They also want to negotiate some workplace policies with management.
The Unite Here union organizer told the group that at Pala more than 700 workers get annual raises of up to 45 cents an hour and have fixed healthcare expenses.
The casino's general manager Harry Taylor issued a statement saying that it recognizes the rights of workers to take part in union activities, and urges that any unioniziation vote be by secret ballot. He said that as the nation emerges from the recession that the casino expects to look at compensation and benefit for its employees.
Because the casino is on sovereign tribal land, the right to organize a union is different than it would be in the rest of California. Each tribe has different collective bargaining rules.
The organizers of the event said they counted 149 signatures, or more than half of the pool of workers in the bargaining unit.