Labor
2:01 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Rivers Casino Workers File Federal Complaints, Allege Intimidation by Management

Last week, workers from Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino marched to the facility, calling on management to recognize their right to organize. They then gathered in an employee cafeteria where workers claim they  were targets of intimidation by management.

“At that time, a large group of managers and security officers filled the employee dining room in what seemed like an effort to intimidate us,” said Mattfred Lapka, a Rivers employee. “We had one manager tell us that we cannot talk about the union in the employee cafeteria. On that day I was also followed around by a security officer.”

As a result, union organizers are filing unfair labor practice charges claiming that officials at the casino are trying to stop some 800 workers from unionizing. Though Lapka said following last week’s rally, which featured several state and local elected officials, not much has changed when workers are on the clock.

“Though we do see a difference when we are off the clock and are in the employee cafeteria, when we’re in the smoking area trying to get workers signed up on (union) cards,” he said.

A total of 38 complaints against Rivers Casino have been filed by Unite Here Local 57 with the National Labor Relations Board. The complaints don't say specifically what the workers have allegedly been told about union organizing.

It wasn't immediately clear when the NLRB will hear the complaints. A Unite Here organizer said it could take weeks or even months.

The Rivers Casino did not respond to a request for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.