Pinnacle Pays For "Interfering With, Restraining and Coercing Employees" At St. Louis Casinos

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Lumiere Place employees get the last laugh in labor dispute
It's been a roller-coaster of a year so far for Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment.

First the Missouri Gaming Commission revoked their license for the President Casino. Then they opened the fancy new River City Casino in Lemay. Now the company has agreed to repay thousands of dollars in lost wages and re-hire workers who were wrongfully fired during a labor dispute.

Federal labor officials reached an agreement earlier this week with Pinnacle, which had been battling its hotel, garment and restaurant workers' union.

Lumiere workers Shawn Holmes and Isaac Lewis will get $26,226 and $14,080, respectively, in back pay under the settlement. Others will be compensated for two years of pay cuts.

Kelsey Volkmann of the St. Louis Business Journal explains the situation nicely:
The union had filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board in St. Louis after Pinnacle lawyers sent letters in May 2009 to representatives of Unite Here Local 74 and its spinoff, Workers United, announcing a withdrawal of recognition of Local 74, affecting about 750 workers.

Pinnacle and the casinos stopped recognizing Local 74 because it had started receiving competing claims about which union was representing its kitchen and housekeeping workers, creating confusion about the official union representation.
The Biz Journal also quotes Local 74 Director Dave Morton as stating that Pinnacle's settlement agreement means the company must stop "interfering with, restraining and coercing employees."

The company has halted negotiations on a collective bargaining agreement with Lumiere Employees and notified workers that the President Casino will close in the coming year.

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