UNITE HERE Union Members Pay For Union Bosses’ Flub

Will a Strike Hit Las Vegas Just So Big Labor Can Save Face?

(Click here to download the May 2014 National Right to Work Committee Newsletter

Several times last month, President Obama performed victory dances in celebration of the mounting number of reported sign-ups (now said to be roughly eight million) for health insurance exchanges established by the so-called “Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

vegas_woesNotwithstanding the President’s crowing, across the country countless millions of employees and business owners are being harmed by the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Specifically, many are struggling to deal with rapidly rising health-insurance costs foisted on them by the ACA itself and by its bureaucratic implementation.

Were It Not For Big Labor’s Forced-Dues Machine, ACA Wouldn’t Be the Law Today

As both national and local union bosses of the UNITE HERE union, which wields monopoly bargaining power over hundreds of thousands of front-line employees in the casino-and-hospitality industry, freely acknowledge, ACA-spawned problems have been especially severe for employees in this industry.

And Nevada, in which the casino-and-hospitality industry employs a far higher share of the workforce than in any other state in the country, is the epicenter of this government-created mess.

To continue furnishing employees with health-insurance benefits roughly as good as they have had in the past will cost Las Vegas hotels, restaurants and casinos a lot more in the post-ACA world than it did before.

A contract offer now on the table from a coalition of unionized hotels and casinos would require employees represented by Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 to pay a portion of the increased health-insurance costs brought about by the ACA.

National Right to Work Committee Vice President Greg Mourad recalled the history of this law:

“Of course, the ACA wouldn’t be the law of the land today were it not for the fact that top union bosses put their forced union dues-fueled lobbying machine at full throttle four years ago to ensure that Obamacare would pass through Congress despite the American people’s strong opposition.

“Among the union bigwigs leading the charge were the chieftains of UNITE HERE, the parent union of Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165.”

As a Las Vegas Review Journal editorial appearing April 2 explained, culinary and bartenders union bosses are very reluctant to face accountability with the union rank-and-file for having helped President Obama ram through a law that now stands to cut deep into worker paychecks.

Instead, culinary and bartenders union bosses want someone else to “bear the cost of the union’s big mistake.”

Strike Would Hurt Workers Even More Than It Would Businesses, City Economy

The consequence of union bosses’ unwillingness to let their members feel the brunt of the union-label ACA’s exorbitant cost could be a strike that shuts down hotels, restaurants, and casinos across downtown Las Vegas.

“Of course, a strike would hurt workers even more than it would businesses and the city economy on the whole,” said Mr. Mourad.

“It remains to be seen whether downtown housekeepers and restaurant workers will actually be willing to help union chiefs save face by walking off their jobs.

“But what’s already clear is that, one way or the other, Las Vegas’ hospitality industry employees are about to take it on the chin as a result of UNITE HERE and other union bosses’ successful deployment of their forced dues-funded political army to pass Obamacare in 2010.”

To prevent similar injustices from being visited on workers in the future, National Right to Work Committee members across the country are now pushing for roll-call votes on, and ultimately passage of, the National Right to Work Act (H.R.946/S.204).

“By prohibiting forced union dues, H.R.946/S.204 would surely have blocked passage of the ACA had it been on the books four years ago,” said Mr. Mourad.

“And it can without a doubt thwart enactment of more worker-harming Big Labor legislative power grabs in the future.”