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Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act still in limbo in heated election year

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians owns and operates the Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, California. Photo by Rob Sinclair
One of Indian Country's legislative priorities remains in limbo in a busy and heated election year.

Tribes have been seeking to exempt their gaming facilities from the National Labor Relations Act for more than a decade. When the House passed H.R.511, the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, by wide margins last November, the vote marked the closest they have come to their goal.

But the Senate has yet to take up the measure and time is running out for Indian Country. Lawmakers aren't due to return to work until after the presidential election next month and tribes will only have a few weeks to push for the bill.

Absent Congressional action, the National Labor Relations Board continues to assert jurisdiction over tribal casinos. The latest decision affects the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians in California, McClatchy DC reports.

An administrative law judge on October 11 ruled the Viejas Casino and Resort violated the rights of union members by only awarding them half of the amount of a bonus given to non-members. The case is 21-CA-166290.

Read More on the Story:
Indian tribes may be sovereign, but their casinos remain subject to federal scrutiny (McClatchy DC 10/18) $P National Labor Relations Board Decision:
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians d/b/a Viejas Casino & Resort v. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 135, AFL–CIO (October 11, 2016)

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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