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Morongo Casino placed on union group’s no-patronize list; tribe rejects ‘bad faith’ claim

By in Press Enterprise on December 5, 2017

By Richard K. De Atley

The California Labor Federation has placed the Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa near Cabazon on a “do not patronize” list after the tribe rejected a contract with an electricians’ union, but an attorney for the band rejected the federation’s claim that it had negotiated in bad faith.

The federation claims it represents 2.1 million union workers statewide. It said in a statement released Monday the rejected contract was between the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 47. The contract had been under negotiation for 16 months.

“IBEW Local 47 believes the Morongo Tribe Council and Negotiating Committee negotiated a settlement with workers in bad faith to circumvent the collective bargaining process,” the federation said in a written statement.

George Forman, general counsel to the Morongo Band, said the tribe had accommodated the union and negotiated in good faith, even after the union declined to use the provisions of the Tribal-Labor Relations Ordinance that the California Labor Federation had agreed to more than 20 years ago.

The union agreed from the beginning that any proposed agreement would be voted on by both all members of the bargaining unit and the members of the tribe. A ballot was sent to the tribe’s 875 members and the contract, as written, was rejected, Forman said in a statement.

The federation said its “do not patronize” list is meant to “inform union members and the public of companies that do not respect workers’ basic rights,” and was issued at the request of the San Bernardino and Riverside Central Labor Council.

Forman said last year Morongo “provided across-the-board wage increases averaging 11 percent to our employees, with other enhanced benefits and bonuses. These increases underscore the tribe’s appreciation of its team members.”

He said the tribe “remains committed to resolving the matter to the benefit of […]    

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