Las Vegas Sun

March 20, 2019

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Las Vegas mayor supports union in fight for Santa Fe workers

Culinary Union members flexed their collective labor muscle Wednesday by asking the Las Vegas City Council to consider the service by veteran workers before issuing Station Casinos Inc. a license to take over the Santa Fe hotel-casino.

But the council was unable to accommodate the union's request that Station be required to hire a certain number of Santa Fe employees before being issued a license to take over the northwest casino.

"I was advised that it would be an abuse of power," Mayor Oscar Goodman said. "As the law presently exists, we can't impose a condition that these folks be retained."

And while the council could not impose any requirements on Station, the board did wish the Culinary Union well in its emergency petition to the Nevada Gaming Commission seeking that such conditions be placed on Station's hiring.

"I'm rooting for you, OK?" Goodman said.

D. Taylor, staff director of the Culinary Union, asked for more than cheers.

"Maybe you can come and testify for us," he said, drawing laughter from the more than 100 union members in the audience.

Goodman said he would do just that if asked.

The council then unanimously approved a change of ownership and business name from Santa Fe Hotel to Santa Fe Station. The vote also granted a new nonrestricted gaming license, subject to the provisions of the Nevada Gaming Commission's expected approval Sept. 28.

Councilman Michael McDonald abstained because his company, Las Vegas Color Graphics, does business with Station Casinos.

Station announced its purchase of Santa Fe in June, with the fate of more than 1,000 workers in question. Station recently announced all workers could apply for jobs with the new company, but has made no assurances that the employees will get their jobs.

Station is also buying the nearby Fiesta hotel-casino, which is across the street from its Texas Station hotel-casino.