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15-year dues-checkoff battle ends in unions' favor

9th Circuit rules employers must continue deducting dues during negotiations of new contracts

Richard McCracken, international counsel for Unite Here, has been a union lawyer for 37 years. For nearly half of his career, he has been litigating Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas v. NLRB.The case, colloquially known as Hacienda Hotel, concerns whether an employer must continue deducting union dues from employee paychecks after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

In September, McCracken finally got the answer he’s been seeking since 1995. The 9th Circuit ruled that an employer must continue deducting dues during the negotiation of a new contract. At this point, the lawsuit is a matter of principle rather than practicality—the hotels from which the case arose, Hacienda Hotel and Sahara Hotel, were both sold in 1996.

Twisted History

Hacienda Hotel began in 1995, when the Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union sued the Hacienda Hotel, alleging that its unilateral decision to stop deducting union dues from paychecks while the parties negotiated a new contract was an unfair labor practice.

Adele Nicholas

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