CAPITOL WATCH

M. Scott Carter

M. Scott Carter reports on politics, legislation and other issues from the State Capitol.

A complaint alleging anti-union activities against the Winstar World Casino and the Chickasaw Nation isn’t subject to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board, which dismissed the complaint this week.

In 2011, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 886 claimed that supervisors at the casino “engaged in threats and surveillance” of the casino’s blackjack dealers who were attempting to unionize.

WinStar and the tribe denied the union’s claims. The Chickasaw Nation then filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the labor board didn’t have jurisdiction over the tribe because of the tribe’s sovereign nature.

On Thursday, a three-member panel of the labor board dismissed the case, acknowledging that the tribe was considered a sovereign entity under the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek and the 1860 Treaty of Washington.

“We find that application of the Act would abrogate treaty rights, specific to the Nation, contained in the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek,” the panel wrote in its four-page decision.  “We have no doubt that asserting jurisdiction over the casino and the nation would effectuate the policies of the act. However, because we find that asserting jurisdiction would abrogate treaty rights specific to the nation, we shall dismiss the complaint.”

The casino has more than 2,500 employees.


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