As predicted, Foxwoods casino has filed its formal objections this week to a union vote of table game dealers last month. Thus begins what I would expect to be a protracted period of waiting. Sure, there will be the flare-up in the press here and there, but until the NLRB rules on the objections — which could take many months, even over a year or two in some instances — nothing will happen with this particular issue.
Indeed, even if the NLRB rules against Foxwoods on the objections, hat still does not end the appeal process. Foxwoods could refuse to bargain with the UAW setting up an appeal to a federal appellate court.
According to the Hartford Courant, that is exactly what the tribe intends to do:
Leaders of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which owns and operates Foxwoods, indicated the issue is probably headed in that direction.
"In light of what is at stake for all of Indian country, we must pursue this and it will require an appeal to the federal courts," said Tribal Chairman Michael J. Thomas in a letter circulated by the tribe.
Foxwoods statement is telling; as I indicated back in September, this case seemed destined to be an epic battle — not just about Foxwoods but all the tribal casinos. Foxwoods’ reference to what is "at stake for all of Indian country" enforces that notion. There’s simply too much riding on the decision here.