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Unions denounce governor's casino deal with Palm Springs tribe

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 10:49 AM
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Unions denounce governor's casino deal with Palm Springs tribe

Full story: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/s...



Unions denounce governor's casino deal with Palm Springs tribe
AARON C. DAVIS
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - Union leaders on Tuesday denounced a landmark deal between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of the state's richest Indian tribes, raising questions about whether lawmakers will sign off on a dramatic expansion of Palm Springs-area gambling.

At issue is a provision in the deal with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians that would reverse tribal labor agreements Schwarzenegger struck in 2004, making it harder for casino workers to unionize.

The Legislature already has held up the past four compacts the governor's office has negotiated with tribes for other reasons, including concerns about traffic congestion. Some lawmakers suggested Tuesday that upending a core Democratic principal such as union representation could stop the Palm Springs casino expansion in its tracks.

Others said the tribe, which has contributed millions in campaign donations to lawmakers and political causes, carries enough sway to push the agreement through the Legislature.

"This is a very big problem for us," said Jack Gribbon, California political director for UNITE HERE, which represents hotel, restaurant and casino workers. "For the Schwarzenegger administration to bargain away workers' rights that were the standard is an unbelievable betrayal. It's a kick in the stomach."

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