Culinary Union celebrates historic wins for workers in the best contract ever won with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts



Friday, November 10, 2023 at 2:45pm Pacific


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088

Culinary Union celebrates historic wins for workers in the best contract ever won with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts

Las Vegas, NV -  After settling union contracts for 40,000 hospitality workers, the Culinary Union is holding a brief media availability to celebrate historic wins for working families in Nevada and secured in the best contract ever won with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts.

WHO & WHAT: Virtual media availability with Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Negotiator, Ted Pappageorge and a few Culinary Union members.


*Friday, November 10, 2023 at 2:45pm Pacific. RSVP here for media avail.


The Culinary Union has won the best contracts ever in its 88 year history.

In negotiations, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have won a greater measure of security for workers including:

*Winning the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the history of the Culinary Union.

*Reducing workload and steep housekeeping room quotas, daily room cleaning, and establishing the right for guest room attendants to securely work in set areas.

*Providing the best on-the-job safety protections for all classifications, including safety committees, expanding the use of safety buttons to more workers, penalties if safety buttons don’t work, enforcing mandatory room checks for employee and public safety, and tracking sexual harassment, assault, and criminal behavior by customers.

*Strengthening existing technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced which would impact jobs, require training for new jobs created by technology, health care and severance pay for workers who are laid off because of new technology, the right to privacy from tracking technology introduced by companies, notice of third-party data sharing workers have generated through their work, and the right to bargain over technology that tracks the location of employees or messaging between workers.

*Extending recall rights so that workers have more job security and have the right to return to their jobs in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis for up to three-years.

*Making clear that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union from taking action, including picketing and leafleting in support of non-union restaurants workers on the casino property. 


*November 10, 2023 at 5am: Strike deadline for the largest hospitality worker strike in U.S. history averted after Culinary Union successfully negotiated contracts for 40,000 workers.

*November 10 at 2:30am: Tentative agreement reached with Wynn Resorts.

*November 9 at 5:45am: Tentative agreement reached with MGM Resorts International.

*November 7 at 5:30am: Tentative agreement reached with Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

*November 6: Culinary Union continued strike preparation by assembling strike picket signs for MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. 

*November 2: Culinary Union set strike deadline for largest hospitality worker strike in U.S. history for MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. The Culinary Union intensified preparation for the largest hospitality worker strike in U.S. history by amassing supplies and materials to maintain 45 different strike stations with multiple picket lines around casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, continued to sign workers up for strike pay and shifts on the strike line, and urged companies to agree to a fair contract. Culinary Union prepared for months for a strike and had stockpiled everything needed to maintain a 24/7 strike line at every casino: Tablets for strike sign-in, picket signs, portable bathrooms, tables, chairs, bullhorns, lumber for picket sign sticks, generators, sunscreen, banners, canopies, water, coffee, hotspots, and more. Culinary Union had also mailed out Striker ID Cards to all potential strikers and educated workers on how to look up their bank routing and account number in order to sign up for strike pay.

*October 25: Thousands of hospitality workers rallied on the Las Vegas Strip and 75 workers participated in a non-violent civil disobedience arrest action in front of Bellagio and Paris Casino as worker continued push for a new union contract.

*October 12: Thousands of Culinary and Bartenders Union members picketed on the Las Vegas Strip, for the first time in nearly two decades, in front of 8 different MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment casinos. On that day, the Vice-President of the United States visited with Culinary Union members to show her support to workers who are fighting for a contract: “I wanted to come by and just acknowledge the Culinary [Union] workers. I have known their work for years. And they are true champions for working people. And so just came by to say hello to them. And to thank them for standing up for all working people. When they are in this fight, all people, all working people really do benefit. So I applaud them.” - Vice President Kamala Harris.

*October 6: Culinary Union released a report: “The Human Cost of High Hotel Profits: A Survey of Las Vegas guest room attendants.”

*September 26: Members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions voted by 95% to authorize a Citywide Strike after tens of thousands of hospitality workers packed the Thomas and Mack Center on campus at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas to cast their votes.

*September 15: 40,000 workers employed at 18 casino resorts among the three largest gaming employers in the state (MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn/Encore Resorts) were working under an expired contract and were at risk of a major labor dispute. Terms and conditions of an expired collective bargaining agreement largely remained in effect, including wages, benefits, and job security protections, but the no-strike provisions were no longer in effect which allowed workers to go on strike after a successful strike authorization, and if the Culinary and Bartender Unions and employers did not come to an agreement before a strike deadline.

*April: The Culinary and Bartenders Unions began negotiating for new union contracts for 40,000 workers with the three largest private employers in Las Vegas: MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn/Encore Resorts.

24 casino-resort companies are still under a contract extension and in active negotiations for a new 5-year union contract:

*Las Vegas Strip: Circus Circus, Four Seasons, Hilton Grand Vacations, Mirage, Rio, Sahara Las Vegas, Strat, Treasure Island, Tropicana, Trump Hotel Las Vegas, Virgin Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, and Westgate.

*Downtown Las Vegas: Binion’s, Circa, Downtown Grand, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Main Street, The D Casino, and Plaza. 

Citywide contract negotiations are led by Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Negotiator Ted Pappageorge and President Diana Valles, and also Bartenders Union Secretary-Treasurer Terry Greenwald and President Lana Loebig.  

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is the largest labor union in Nevada and alongside the Bartenders Union Local 165, represents 60,000 guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers statewide in the Battle Born State.

Culinary Union has a long and storied history of successfully striking and winning for workers in its 88 year history:

*1967: The Culinary Union initiated a strike against 12 Downtown Las Vegas casino hotels. The strike lasted for six days.

*1970: The Culinary and Bartenders Unions had a work stoppage March 12-15, 1970 against 16 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip for four days. Casinos went dark for the first time in Las Vegas history since they had opened. The impact of the strike was felt throughout the hospitality industry: Airlines reported only handfuls of passengers, taxi cabs were idle, and small hotels throughout the city were vacant. Nevada Governor Paul Laxalt brokered a 24-hour negotiation session between the unions and hotel owners. The Nevada Resort Association estimated a $600,000 in daily loss in profits for casino resorts at the time.

*1976: The Culinary Union joined Musicians Local 369 and Stagehands Local 720 in striking 15 Las Vegas casinos (including Caesars Palace, the Dunes, Circus Circus, and the MGM Grand Hotel) for 16 days, effectively shutting down most of the Strip. 11 casinos (Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Castaways, Silver Slipper, Landmark, Thunderbird, Sahara, Flamingo Hilton, Las Vegas Hilton, and Tropicana) closed temporarily during the strike. Workers were fighting for a pay increase, plus fortified health and pension benefits. Culinary Union strike kitchen fed about 17,000 picketing workers a day, going through 1,200 loaves of bread, 5,000 pounds of meat: Making 1,500 bologna or ham-and-cheese sandwiches a day. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimated overall losses at $131 million during the dispute. 

*1984: More than 17,000 Culinary Union members from 32 Las Vegas Strip resorts went on strike alongside IATSE, Bartenders, Musicians Union. Culinary Union members win a contract victory after 53 days on strike, but workers stay out another 2 weeks in solidarity with Musicians and IATSE for a total of 67 days. In one of the largest strikes in Las Vegas history, workers picketed for 67 days, 900 strikers were arrested over the course of the citywide strike. Six casinos (Four Queens, Sam’s Town, California, Holiday International, Holiday Inn South, and Marina Hotel and Casino) did not initially sign union contracts, three resorts become union again over the years. The Holiday International in Downtown Las Vegas closed after the 1984 Strike and eventually reopened as the current unionized Main Street Station. The Marina Hotel and Casino merged with MGM in 1989 as MGM-Marina and was union. Four Queens later becomes union again in 2003.

*1987: The Culinary Union, along other Nevada unions, went on strike with 600 workers walking off the job on September 15, 1987 at Nevada Test Site (Nevada National Security Site). The strike lasted for 10-weeks as the Culinary Union fought for stronger contract language to protect workers from being fired unfairly and without cause. The Culinary Union represented over 600 workers who provided food services at the two classified government facilities, the Test Site and Test Range. 3,000 workers from the different unions honored the action and did not cross picket lines.

*1990: A nine-month strike at the Horseshoe ended in victory for the Culinary Union.

*1991: 500 workers went on strike at the Frontier and stayed out for what was the longest and most successful strike in US history for 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days. Over 550 workers maintained a 24/7 picket line and not one striker ever crossed the line. At the end of the strike, all the strikers were able to return back to work. The Culinary Union was able to negotiate that original workers were brought back to their jobs and workers were provided back pay and benefits. During the course of the strike, 17 strikers passed away and 107 children were born.

*2002: A 10-day strike at the Golden Gate was successful when workers fought and won a strong contract.


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 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 300,000 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 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting and winning for working families in Nevada for 88 years. / @Culinary226 


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