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Arizona tribes join battle over federal labor law

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Tohono O'odham Nation have joined a national lobbying campaign to keep federal labor law out of their businesses.

Leaders of the two tribes say it should be up to tribal governments to set own labor standards. "The federal labor laws don't apply to the state or other local municipalities; it should not apply to us," Pascua Yaqui Chairwoman Herminia Frias told The Arizona Daily Star.

The National Labor Relations Board doesn't see it that way. In a ruling that overturned 30 years of precedent, the board said tribal enterprises are subject to federal labor law if they employ non-Indians or affect non-Indians.

The ruling is being challenged in court but tribes also have asked Congress for a solution. They want to be treated the same as state and local governments under federal labor law.

Get the Story:
Tribes say no to feds (The Arizona Daily Star 8/6)

Hearing Video:
Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations - Hearing on H.R. 16, Tribal Labor Relations Restoration Act of 2005 (July 20, 2006)

Tribal Labor Bill:
Tribal Labor Relations Restoration Act of 2005 (H.R.16)

San Manuel Band v NLRB:
Briefs, Decisions and Documents (Native American Rights Fund)

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

Relevant Links:
National Labor Relations Board -
San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino -

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