NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Albert Dallas. Is Albert Dallas in the room?
Scott Shuster. Welcome Scott.
MR. SHUSTER: Good evening.
It's absurd to think that anyone could relate any experience or opinion with regard to the vast impact of gaming in three token minutes of public comment. So I'm going to speak the truth even though time or other constraints has gagged them.
A manager threatened my job when it was learned of my inclination not to follow the corporate union spin when speaking before this Commission. This is not the first time my job has been threatened by my employer.
When I'm retaliated against by my employer, we will see where justice and the public good really lie.
All of this economic wonder and all of this money, all of this regulation and oversight does not result in an industry that is family friendly, that treats its employees fairly, or acts in an ethical manner in the way it conducts its business.
One example of the industry's undue influence would be the dominance and control casinos exert over the Department of Labor. I have seen it with respect to the Department of Unemployment Insurance. I have seen it with respect to the Division of Wage and Hour.
Casinos regularly commit unfair labor practices, maintain hostile work environments, lie under oath while giving testimony at hearings, pay sub minimum wage to employees working with no tip opportunity, fraudulently prepare payroll, pay the wrong wages, pay scales, ignoring contractually guaranteed compensation, have work performed by cheaper job classes, shave hours, don't pay overtime, misreport benefit hours, deny worker's compensation claims.
The list goes on and on, and I'm sure you get the idea. It's a wilful, conscious business decision not to address these problems.
My supervisors and their managers know of these problems. Their directors and the vice presidents know of these problems. The labor relations departments know of these problems.
Yes, the regulatory agencies know of these problems, as do others who should be extremely responsive, but are not.
The worst part is that my union and your union, Mr. Wilhelm, is helpless to address these problems. These problems are systemic.
It is unfortunate that the industry has its tentacles outreached into all areas of the body politic. It has undue influence over the regulatory agencies that are supposed to oversee it. The tentacles are supposed to maintain a balance of oversight that should act against the casino industry's propensity for self-interest and to maintain the public trust.
Many casino operators maintain a regressive labor relations agenda dedicated to weakening our union and maintaining a docile work force and dedicated to cutting labor costs.
At this time the high quality livelihoods the public expects casinos to provide are being undermined through increasing efforts of certain operators to subcontract jobs and functions that have traditionally been performed in house, usually by union employees.
Additionally, we have witnessed a reengineering of jobs, down-skilling the professions and the crafts traditionally held by union employees for casinos at typically higher pay scales.
A comparable phenomenon is the surreptitious downgrading of job functions and duties to lower paying job classes and the movement of traditional union work to more docile, less expensive supervisors.
Clarence Williams reported in the Sun Herald on line that the first task of a new Executive Director of the National Gaming Impact Study Commission ought to be to devise a work plan and incorporate it with the initial research agenda the Commission adopted.
CHAIRMAN JAMES: Mr. Bottino (sic), I'm going to have to ask you to stop right there. That's not Mr. -- that's Mr. Shuster. Mr. Shuster, I'm going to have to ask you to stop there, but please know that we would like you to submit your entire statement for the record.
MR. SHUSTER: I've done that.