Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Letter to Gun Lake Tribal Chair, D.K. Sprague concerning the casino "Compact"

Please note: I have been asking Mr. Sprague to answer these very specific, very simple questions for a long time. Mr. Sprague has not answered a single one of these questions... nor has Governor Granholm or any Michigan Legislator asked any of these questions... apparently the Fertitta Family has "made an an offer no one could refuse."

Mr. Sprague, Tribal Chair--- Gun Lake Band;

When would you like to sit down and negotiate a contract covering all hourly paid casino employees that would include $40,000.00 a year incomes working in a smoke-free environment?

I notice you have people employed working on health issues for your Band; have they informed you of the consequences to workers from second-hand smoke? I assume they agree with the scientific studies provided by the National Heart and Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

I notice the Gun Lake Band has no labor laws; could you explain why not; or, provide me with such Labor Laws?

Also, could you provide me with the list of the 40 organizations who I keep hearing are supporting this casino “Compact?”

I would note that one of the largest unions in Michigan, the United Auto Workers union, has indicated their opposition to this “Compact;” would you happen to know the reason why their lobbyist, Nadine Nosal, registered the UAW’s opposition to this Compact before the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee?

Will your Band or the casino management firm/s be responsible for labor/management relations? I trust you won’t be leaving labor/management relations to the Station Casinos knowing their past record.

I am somewhat miffed as to why your Band would have considered union labor for casino construction but your obvious intent is to keep casino workers from joining a union and engaging in the collective bargaining process. Would you explain your thinking on this?

Also, please provide me with a copy of the contract you have signed with the unions affiliated with the Southwest Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council.

Also, please inform me who will be responsible for workplace health and safety on the construction site.

Also, please inform me who will be responsible for all aspects of building inspections as the casino is being built.

Will all meats served in the casino restaurant/s be United States Government Department of Agriculture inspected?

It would be helpful if you could respond to everything here prior to members of the Michigan House voting on this Compact tomorrow. I think not only the legislators have a right to have you give specific answers supported with empirical data; but, their constituents expect them to have the answers to the questions I have raised here. Since you were at the Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee Hearing and heard most everything being discussed by everyone… I assume you are fully aware these issues and questions were not addressed.

I have chosen not to get into the Fertitta Family history at this time. I think it will be a nice “surprise” when the citizens and voters of Michigan find out who their Governor and Legislators have chosen for business partners. I will just provide a little hint: Watch the movie “Casino.”

Previously I have left messages for you and you have never returned my calls or faxes with answers to these questions.

As a friendly suggestion, you may want to post what I have written here on your nice web site--- along with your answers.

Please let me know when we can meet to go over the terms of a contract for casino workers. I think it is imperative we do this as soon as possible so people know they will be assured of $40,000.00 a year jobs with excellent benefits. We might even discuss Interest Based Bargaining as the chosen method of reaching a collectively bargained agreement. I hear the President of the United Auto Workers at Bradford-White is very enthused about the process.

Without a union contract in place, your patrons may have to walk through a picket line on opening night. Also, workers engaged in a work to rule campaign might not make a grand opening so pleasant.

Sincerely yours,

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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