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Union organizing campaigns expand at Foxwoods
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Other unions are on the brink of major organizing campaigns at Foxwoods Resort Casino, after dealers there voted to affiliate with the United Auto Workers.

The UAW is the first union to mount a successful organizing drive at a major Indian casino, after this weekend’s vote to unionize by a majority of more than two thousand table game dealers. The victory has been closely watched both by other tribal casinos, and other unions. Most immediately, the Operating Engineers union says it’s within weeks of filing a petition with the labor relations board on behalf of around 250 engineers at the casino. More significantly in terms of numbers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union says it is planning a drive among the food service and hotel workers at Foxwoods – potentially around three thousand employees. President of UFCW local 371 Brian Petronella says the UAW’s victory has laid the groundwork, but he has no illusions about an easy victory.

"Is it going to be a fast process? No. Will it take time? Yes. It took six months for the UAW to sign up the dealers at the casino, so I suspect that it will take many months if not close to a year to get a full pledge campaign to an election there."

Lawyers for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe are meeting this week to decide on a response to the yes vote by dealers – the tribe has not ruled out fighting on through the courts in what it says is an infringement of its sovereignty.