Resorts World Contract Summary: 8. Union Rights & Contract Enforcement
GRIEVANCES AND ARBITRATION RIGHTS
The grievance and arbitration process is the backbone of the contract, providing the Union with a mechanism to enforce all of the rights, protections and benefits contained within it. This provision enables union delegates, officers and attorneys to effectively represent workers and resolve workplace issues.
Under the contract, the Union and Resorts World have the right to take any dispute between them to arbitration. If management and the Union are unable to resolve a grievance, then either side can bring the case before a neutral third-party called an arbitrator.
In an arbitration, the Union has the power to subpoena all relevant information and witnesses to support the case and has the right to cross-examine witnesses. The casino will use the same arbitration system as the New York City hotel industry. A panel of 4 arbitrators, all with extensive experience in the hospitality industry and in interpreting union hospitality contracts, will hear and decide all arbitrations.
The arbitrators are empowered to remedy violations. They are also empowered to assess a 15% penalty against management, payable to the affected employee, in addition to back pay, where the Union can prove that management willfully underpaid the employee.
PROTECTIONS AND RIGHTS FOR UNION DELEGATES
Union delegates are the Union’s first line of defense in the battle to hold management accountable for contract violations. For this reason, the contract includes enhanced delegate protections, designed to force management to deal with union delegates as equals and to prevent management from retaliating against delegates. Under this provision, delegates will have top seniority in their job classifications for layoff purposes only. Before a delegate is suspended or discharged, the casino must first speak with the Union, and in the event the problem is not resolved, the matter will be submitted to arbitration. Pending an award from the arbitrator, the delegate will remain on the job except in cases of physical fighting, on the job drug/alcohol abuse, workplace violence, theft, or such related charges.
RIGHT TO STRIKE
It is the credible threat of a strike that forces management to agree to the higher pay, better benefits, and the increased work standards of a union contract. When the Union signs a contract memorializing those improvements, it agrees not to go out on strike during the life of the contract. In exchange for the Union giving up that right, Resorts World agrees to resolve the parties’ disputes through the arbitration mechanism. If the casino refuses to abide by an arbitration award, the Union has the explicit right to go out on strike. This is a powerful provision that gives the Union an additional weapon in its arsenal to force management to honor the contract.
UNION VISITATION RIGHTS
Under this provision, union representatives can now access the casino at any time to ensure, among other things, that management is respecting the contract and employees have a safe workplace.