FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088

Las Vegas casino workers to hold Citywide Strike Vote on May 22

Las Vegas, NV – Members of UNITE HERE’s Culinary and Bartenders Unions will hold a strike vote on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Union contracts covering 50,000 union workers expire on June 1, 2018 at 34 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, including properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Penn National, Golden Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, and other companies. 

On May 22, voting will take place in two sessions starting at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The public is advised to avoid the Strip and Tropicana Avenue as tens of thousands of union members are expected to attend the two sessions and cast their votes. If a majority of workers vote yes, the union negotiating committee will be authorized to call for a strike at any time after the contract expires and workers can walk out on strike starting as soon as the morning of June 1, 2018. 

Members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions who will be participating in the May 22 strike vote include: bartenders, guest room attendants, cocktail servers, food servers, porters, bellman, cooks, and kitchen workers at the casino resorts on the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.

“Over eight decades, casino workers in Las Vegas have been faced with the same decision: Show up or give up. You either show up and fight for what you deserve, or you give up and take whatever the company gives you,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “On May 22, thousands of union members will show casino employers that workers are going to fight for security and that they are not going to be left behind as companies are making record profits and getting windfall tax breaks.”

“We are demanding an end to harassment in the workplace. Casino corporations cannot continue to normalize sexual misconduct by high rollers and customers in Las Vegas,” said Jocelyn Cegbalic, a cocktail server at the Rio, a Caesars Entertainment property. “The company must take responsibility and work with the Culinary Union to fight sexual harassment and keep us safe. I always do my best to provide excellent service, but I shouldn’t have to endure harassment -- or worse -- from guests who think they can abuse us just because they are on vacation.” 

“I am going to vote YES to authorize a strike because we are not going to sit back and let casino companies outsource our jobs to robots,” said Carlos Martinez, a pantry worker at the Mirage, an MGM Resorts International property. “Technology can be assistive in the workplace, but workers should have a voice in that and additional job training. The company needs to invest in human capital and treat us with dignity.”

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have proposed new contract language to provide greater measure of security for members including workplace safety, sexual harassment, subcontracting, technology, and immigration. In addition, the Union’s economic proposal seeks to provide workers a fair share of the employers’ enormous anticipated cash flows and Trump tax windfalls.   

In 1984, thousands of Culinary Union members went on a citywide strike across the Las Vegas Strip for 67 days which crippled in the Las Vegas hospitality industry until contracts were settled. The last Culinary Union citywide strike vote was in 2002 when 25,000 workers packed the Thomas and Mack and an overwhelming majority voted yes to authorize a strike.

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are encouraging Nevada locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support workers by patronizing hotels and casinos in case there is a labor dispute on or after June 1, 2018. In an event of a strike, please do not cross picket lines. 

The Culinary Union, Nevada’s largest union, maintains www.VegasTravelAlert.org, a website intended as a service for meeting and convention planners and all other travelers who need to know whether labor disputes could affect their plans in Las Vegas. The website is updated with information about actual and potential labor disputes affecting Las Vegas casinos.

Labor contracts for the below 34 casino resorts expire on midnight on June 1, 2018:

 

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ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 54% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 173 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 83 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226 

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/las-vegas-casino-workers-to-hold-citywide-strike-vote-on-may-22-300645815.html

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Culinary Union calls on Caesars Entertainment Corporation to protect workers 

Las Vegas, NV – The Culinary Union and Bartenders Union calls on Caesars Entertainment Corporation to protect workers and change a dangerous “Do Not Disturb” policy that has put thousands of Las Vegas guest room attendants in danger. 

After the recent October 1 tragedy in Las Vegas, the Culinary Union has been negotiating a host of proposals, including stronger safety language for workers, which includes looking at the companies’ corporation-wide policy on “Do Not Disturb” rooms. The Culinary Union has raised issues with the Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s policy which allows a guest to hang a “Do not disturb” or “Occupied” sign for more than 24-hours requesting that they want privacy and don’t want anyone to come into the room. 

At a recent negotiating session with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the Culinary Union proposed the following contract language:

“…For security purposes…If a guest refuses entry to housekeeping employees for more than 24 hours. the Employer's security shall open the guest's room for entry and service by housekeeping employees and shall remain in or next to the room as long as the Security Department deems it necessary to protect the safety of housekeeping employees...”

“Having rooms with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ on for days makes me shaky. I am constantly going into a room that staff hasn’t been in for 4+ days and never know what I’m going to find when I open a door: It could be completely trashed room or a dangerous situation,” said Amalia Urciel, a guest room attendant at the Bally’s, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation property. “We work hard to provide for our families and we deserve to have more security at work.”

“I’ve been in a room with empty gun shells laying around and I feel very uncomfortable being alone in the room in situations like that,” said Diana Thomas, a guest room attendant at the Flamingo, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation property. “I never know what’s going to happen and I don’t feel secure at work.” 

The Culinary Union also proposed new language to protect workers on the job. Several guest room attendants and cocktail servers shared stories of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse from guests and high rollers in the workplace.

“I was carrying a heavy tray full of drinks on the casino floor, and a high roller at the dice game grabbed me by the neck with both of his hands and forced me to kiss him for good luck,” said Deborah Jeffries, a cocktail server at Bally’s, a Caesars Entertainment Corporation. “I have permanent nerve damage from that incident and I live in pain everyday.”

Caesars Entertainment Corporation negotiators claimed that security policies and procedures currently in place were sufficient, which stunned the Union negotiating committee. The company has rejected the proposal and didn’t make sufficient responses to the other safety proposals the Culinary Union made.

“I don’t understand how a major hospitality company like Caesars Entertainment Corporation can reject such a safety proposal that would ensure their workers are secure,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “To not protect their largely female workforce is disgraceful and we are frankly, shocked. We will continue to fight this and will inform the thousands of women we represent in Las Vegas of this companies’ shameful behavior.”

The Culinary Union is asking that those who believe that workers should be protected on-the-job to call Caesars Entertainment Corporation at (702) 407-6000 and/or Tweet at @CaesarsEnt and let the company know that they should do better.

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ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 54% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 173 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 83 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226

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When making your travel plans for this year, we encourage you to consider choosing a hotel and casino resort where workers are treated fairly. Through strong union contracts, workers at FairHotels make good wages, have great health and retirement benefits, and are treated with respect. When you choose to stay in a FairHotel, your dollars make a real difference.

To find a socially responsible hotel for your travel destination, download the FairHotel app on the iPhone or Android or visit FairHotel.org.

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Cuando haga sus planes de viaje este año, lo animamos a que considere elegir un hotel y casino donde traten a los trabajadores con justicia. A través de fuertes contratos sindicales, los trabajadores en los FairHotels (Hoteles Justos) ganan buenos sueldos, gozan de excelentes beneficios de salud y jubilación, y son tratados con respeto. Cuando usted elije hospedarse en un FairHotel, sus dólares realmente hacen una diferencia.

Para encontrar un hotel socialmente responsable en su destino de viaje, descargue la aplicación FairHotel en su iPhone o Android o visite FairHotel.org.

Negotiations Update

We have met for contract negotiations with both MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment. We have not yet reached an agreement. Labor contracts for the following casinos expire June 1st. After that date a labor dispute is possible.

 

Labor contracts for the following casinos expire June 1, 2018. After that date a labor dispute is possible. 

Caesars: 

  • Bally's Las Vegas
  • Caesars Palace, including Nobu
  • Flamingo Las Vegas
  • Harrah's Las Vegas
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood
  • The Cromwell
  • The LINQ

Las Vegas Properties With An Active Labor Dispute:  

 

MGM: 

  • Aria Resort & Casino
  • Bellagio Hotel & Casino
  • Circus Circus Hotel & Resort
  • Excalibur Hotel & Casino
  • Luxor Hotel & Casino
  • MGM Grand Las Vegas
  • Mandalay Bay, including Delano
  • The Mirage
  • Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino (Park MGM)
  • New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Other Strip Properties: 

  • Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
  • SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, including W Hotel
  • Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
  • Treasure Island Hotel & Casino
  • Tropicana Las Vegas
  • Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

Downtown Properties: 

  • Binion's Gambling Hall and Hotel
  • Fremont Hotel & Casino
  • Main Street Station Casino Brewery & Hotel
  • Four Queens Resort and Casino Las Vegas
  • Golden Gate Casino
  • Golden Nugget Las Vegas
  • The D Las Vegas
  • Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
  • Plaza Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
  • El Cortez Hotel and Casino

 

The following properties' collective bargaining agreements are NOT expiring on June 1:

 

  • Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (Expiring 8/1/18)
  • Elara Las Vegas, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club (Expiring 10/1/18)
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club on Paradise (455 Karen Ave.) (Expiring 10/1/18)
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Boulevard (2650 South Las Vegas Blvd.) (Expiring 10/1/18)
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club at the Flamingo (3575 South Las Vegas Blvd.) (Expiring 10/1/18)
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
  • Wynn Las Vegas
  • Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
  • Vdara Hotel & Spa at ARIA Las Vegas
  • The Signature at MGM Grand
  • Homewood Suites (6801 Placid St.)

Please patronize casinos and hotels listed on the Union Hotel Guide at FairHotel.org

Contact Paul Catha at 702-383-7923 or at pcatha@culinaryunion226.org

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ BKhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Culinary Union begins contract negotiations for 50,000 Las Vegas workers

Deadline for contract negotiations: June 1, 2018

Las Vegas, NV – The Culinary and Bartenders Unions will begin contract negotiations this week for 50,000 workers on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. The deadline to complete negotiations is midnight on Friday, June 1, 2018.

Negotiations between the unions and the casino resorts are closed sessions, but periodically there will be media availability with workers. The Unions will be negotiating a host of proposals including: protecting pension and health benefits, good wage increases that reflect increased industry profits, language regarding increased technology and the effects automation has on jobs and workers, strong protections for worker safety including safety buttons and language protecting against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and proposals for non-union restaurant and arena workers to become union.

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are encouraging Nevada locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support workers by patronizing hotels and casinos not under a labor dispute.

The Culinary Union, Nevada’s largest union, has launched www.VegasTravelAlert.org, a website intended as a service for meeting and convention planners and all other travelers who need to know whether labor disputes could affect their plans in Las Vegas. The website will be updated with information about actual and potential labor disputes affecting Las Vegas casinos. Visitors to the site may sign up for email updates as well as find strategies to protect their event or travel plans from the possibility of being impacted by labor disputes.

Labor contracts for the following 34 casino resorts expire midnight on June 1, 2018. After that date, labor disputes, including strikes are possible:

Las Vegas Strip

Caesars Entertainment Corporation:

  • Bally’s Las Vegas
  • Caesars Palace, including Nobu
  • Flamingo Las Vegas
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood
  • The Cromwell
  • The LINQ

MGM Resorts International:

  • Aria Resort & Casino
  • Bellagio Hotel & Casino
  • Circus Circus Hotel & Resort
  • Excalibur Hotel & Casino
  • Luxor Hotel & Casino
  • MGM Grand Las Vegas
  • Mandalay Bay, including Delano
  • The Mirage
  • Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino (Park MGM)
  • New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Other Strip properties:

  • Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
  • SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, including W Hotel
  • Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
  • Treasure Island Hotel & Casino
  • Tropicana Las Vegas
  • Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

Downtown Las Vegas

  • Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel
  • Fremont Hotel & Casino
  • Main Street Station Casino Brewery & Hotel
  • Four Queens Resort and Casino Las Vegas
  • Golden Gate Casino
  • Golden Nugget Las Vegas
  • The D Las Vegas
  • Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
  • Plaza Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
  • El Cortez Hotel and Casino

The following properties’ collective bargaining agreements are NOT expiring on June 1, 2018:

  • Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
  • Elara Las Vegas, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club on Paradise (455 Karen Avenue)
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Boulevard (2650 South Las Vegas Boulevard)
  • Hilton Grand Vacations Club at the Flamingo (3575 South Las Vegas Boulevard)
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • Trump International Hotel Las Vegas
  • Wynn Las Vegas
  • Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
  • Vdara Hotel & Spa at ARIA Las Vegas
  • The Signature at MGM Grand
  • Homewood Suites (6801 Placid Street

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ABOUT THE CULINARY UNION:
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 54% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 173 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 83 years.

CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226

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