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UAW/Foxwoods – Foxwoods Requests Review of Decision and Connecticut Objects

Posted in Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

While the mainstream press has been reporting on the upcoming hearing tomorrow on some of Foxwoods’ objections to the election, Foxwoods has also been challenging the Regional Director’s decision on December 21, 2007 rejecting the other objections raised by Foxwoods.  Thus, readers should be aware that reporting on the hearing tomorrow is only one front in the battle over unionization at Foxwoods. 

Earlier this month, Foxwoods filed a lengthy "Request for Review" of that December 21st decision, which can be downloaded here. While it repeats some of the same arguments made earlier, when read in conjunction with yesterday’s column in The Day, it highlights the strongest argument that the Tribe has — that tribal sovereignty and Indian law trump the "normal" rules of construction.

For instance, on pages 16-18, it notes that although federal agencies are generally afforded some deference to their rules, that deference should not be afforded when the rule is construed towards Indian tribes.

In line with that canon, the Board is consequently duty bound to interpret the NLRA’s jurisdictional reach in a manner which furthers tribal interests.  Here, that inexorably leads to a conclusion that tribes, including [Foxwoods/Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation] fall outside the NLRA’s scope…"

Foxwoods also argues that the effect of a potential strike on the tribe’s ability to provide governmental services was not considered properly by the Regional Director.  Foxwoods’ brief attaches multiple exhibits, which can be downloaded here, here and here, including its prior briefs which can give the reader additional insight into the tribal sovereignty argument. 

Notably, the State of Connecticut filed a brief in opposition on Friday, January 11th.  The State has taken a very aggressive approach to this matter and has again challenged the tribe’s arguments — saying they essentially nothing but a retread and dismissing the remaining arguments.   The  State’s brief can be downloaded here.   It’s also worth reading (its much smaller in scope) to understand the counter to the arguments raised by the Tribe. 

UPDATE: Jeff Hirsch, at the Workplace Prof blog, also has his thoughts on the arguments that are worth taking a look at.