The bitter feud between The Culinary and Station Casinos has entered the octagon after the Ultimate Fighting Championship was dragged into a row over US antitrust laws. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is accusing Station owners, the Fertitta Brothers, of violating laws on antitrust in relation to a number of practices that UFC carries out.
The charge sheet leveled at the firm that runs UFC is lengthly. The Culinary first claims that Zuffa bought out four rival in a move that has meant that they now dominate the world of mixed martial arts. It cites a research in 2008 showing UFC owns 80 to 90 of the market. We were of the view that UFC was a pretty big deal anyways and that even without this purchase, their position at the top has been secure for some time.
Next up, the point that Zuffa’s contracts with fighters had an “automatic renewal” extension for when a fighter becomes a champion. It prevents free agency and them negotiating higher pay according to Culinary research director Ken Liu.
The third point extends to the fighters and that they give up image and likness rights for merchandise and ancillary agreements. It adds that they also won’t promote events with rival companies. Station Casinos is not mentioned in the letter.
Culinary’s original feud with Station Casinos comes down to their attempts to organize many of the company’s 13,000 employees, a move that the group is blocking. It led to ugly protests where as many as 20,000 Culinary members were arrested with little progress being made.
This case originated thanks to the union trying to take control of the staffing at Station Casinos. The fact that it’s now extended to the eight walls of the UFC arena smacks a bit of desperation on the Culinary part.
The Fertitta Brothers’ company Fertitta Interactive is best known for having signed an ill-fated deal with Full Tilt Poker pre-Black Friday