Foxwoods beverage workers approve union

Mashantucket -- Bartenders and other beverage department workers at Foxwoods Resort Casino voted 130 to 90 Monday to affiliate with Local 371 of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, affirming the outcome of an earlier vote certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

Workers had endorsed the union 190 to 145 in the NLRB-sanctioned vote that took place July 31.

Monday's vote was supervised by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which owns the casino and has long maintained that the NLRB lacks jurisdiction over tribal enterprises on the tribe's 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. "The parties anticipate beginning negotiations under tribal law for a collective bargaining agreement in the coming weeks."

The union will represent nearly 400 bartenders, beverage servers, lounge hosts and bar porters at Foxwoods.

"Foxwoods management has always said that it would respect any decision on unionization that employees make under the tribal law processes,” Scott Butera, Foxwoods' president and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “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.”

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