Tribes in California welcome labor unions at gaming facilities


The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians owns and operates the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino in Highland, California. Photo from Facebook

More tribes in California are welcoming labor unions to their casinos as the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act hangs in limbo on Capitol Hill.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are among the latest to adopt the Tribal Labor Relations Ordinance, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. They operate three of the largest casinos in the state so a significant number of employees are covered by their actions.

"California tribes exemplify the growing list of Indian tribes who are regulating labor relations with their employees," Richard Guest of the Native American Rights Fund said in testimony in support of the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act..

According to Guest, the Tribal Labor Relations Ordinance -- which has been included in the Class III gaming compacts signed by the tribes -- differs from the National Labor Relations Act. But it offers protections for both tribes and their employees, he said.

The effort comes as Indian Country lobbies Congress to pass the H.R.511, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. The bill exempts tribes and their enterprises from the National Labor Relations Act.

The House passed the bill last November but it hasn't been taken up in the Senate. The White House has raised objections to the measure.

Read More on the Story:
Why Inland tribes declined exemption that would have made unionizing harder (The Riverside Press-Enterprise 9/25)

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
Tribal labor law rider killed by wide margin in House (June 27, 2005)
NCAI between 'rock and a hard place' on labor rider (September 13, 2004)
Tribal labor amendment fails in House vote (September 13, 2004)
Federal labor board expands jurisdiction over tribes (June 4, 2004)

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