A union organizer has been
told to stop recruiting casino workers on the coast until he registers
his union with the state and receives approval.
Peter A. Fosco, a representative
of the Laborers International Union of North America, has been
meeting with coast casino workers over the past month and signing
up union support.
State gambling regulations
require unions or union representatives to get the state Gaming
Commission's approval before even seeking to represent casino
Chuck Patton, executive director
of the Gaming Commission, said he was not sure from reading the
regulations what penalty, if any, applies to a union or union
official failing to register. "We're writing to inform them
of the requirements," said Patton. "I understand people
may not be familiar with our regulations. We've asked that they
not continue until they have been approved."
Fosco could not be reached
The union is seeking to organize
most of the nearly 4,000 workers at the Beau Rivage casino resort
in Biloxi. As of last week, it had signed up more than 100 from
various coast casinos. Fosco said last month that Beau Rivage
workers had requested the union's help.
The union has a lengthy history
of corruption and organized crime influence. A controversial 1995
U.S. Justice Department oversight plan, in which the Clinton administration
allowed the union to carry out its own cleanup, ended just this
The internal reform led to
the ouster of 220 union officials, including Fosco's father, Peter
Peter J. Fosco was accused
of wrongdoing that included arranging to be paid for work he did
not perform and seeking monthly cash payments from his staff and
expensive Christmas gifts from union officials.