Regional casino owner and operator Maverick Gaming has seen in excess of 1,700 industry workers choose Teamsters Local 117, with the union now representing members from across 19 card houses throughout Washington State.

The Seattle-based local union was authorized as the workers’ exclusive bargaining representative through a card check process conducted by an independent arbitrator.

“We are thrilled to welcome Maverick employees to our union,” added John Scearcy, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “Workers in the many card rooms across Washington State deserve a strong voice in the workplace and a contract that protects their rights and reflects their priorities. We are committed to working with them to achieve that goal.”

Maverick employees will be the first unionised gaming-industry workers in Washington State, with it said that they sought representation with Teamsters because they wanted a voice over issues such as wages, health care, retirement security, scheduling and other working conditions.

The certification of Teamsters Local 117 as the workers’ exclusive representative triggers the process for contract negotiations. In January, workers will meet to establish their priorities for negotiations and identify rank-and-file leaders to participate on the union bargaining committee.

Throughout the organising process, Maverick remained neutral and allowed workers to determine for themselves whether they wanted union representation. 

“Maverick provides an excellent example of how a company should conduct itself during a union organising drive,” Scearcy said. “While some employers fire workers or aggressively spread anti-union propaganda, Maverick trusted its workers to decide for themselves whether they wanted to join the union.”

“This is a historic moment for workers in a previously unorganised industry in Washington State. We look forward to sitting down with Maverick and negotiating a contract that reflects the priorities of these workers – things like good family medical benefits, a secure retirement, and secure scheduling – all of the protections and benefits of a strong Teamsters contract.”