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Labor board ruling draws sharp barbs from tribes

Tribal leaders say the National Labor Relations Board's decision subjecting tribe to federal labor law is a strike against sovereignty.

"This goes so far against the grain as to be unbelievable," Richard Milanovich, chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, told The Palm Springs Desert Sun.

In a decision released last week, the NLRB asserted jurisdiction over tribal casinos and other on-reservation businesses. The rationale was that tribes are now employing and catering to more non-Indians in a way that affects interstate commerce.

The case involved a union challenge to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The board did not rule on the merits but tribal and Indian leaders say they expect an appeal to the federal courts.

Get the Story:
Casinos not exempt from law (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 6/9)

National Labor Review Board Decisions:
San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino | Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Federal Court Decisions:
NAT'L LABOR RELATIONS BD v. SAN JUAN PUEBLO (10th Circuit January 11, 2002) | NAT'L LABOR RELATIONS BD. v. CHAPA DE INDIAN HEALTH PROGRAM, INC (9th Ciruit January 16, 2003)

Relevant Links:
San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino -
Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union -

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Board rules tribes subject to labor law (6/4)
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Pro-union hearing blasts Calif. tribe for sovereignty (03/17)
N.M. tribe seals winning case on labor laws (12/09)
Settlement pending in tribal labor dispute (08/07)
Court denies tribal exemption from labor laws (01/17)
Tribal labor bill draws complaints (04/18)
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