Culinary Union continues strike preparations ahead of strike deadlines for 5,200 hospitality workers



Thursday, February 1, 2024


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088 

Culinary Union continues strike preparations ahead of strike deadlines for 5,200 hospitality workers

Las Vegas, NV -  Culinary Union continues prepping for two strike deadlines and a 36-hour continuous picketing action as 5,200 workers at 3 Las Vegas Strip casinos and 10 Downtown Las Vegas properties are ready to strike. 


*Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for Culinary Union

*Diana Valles, President of the Culinary Union 

*Culinary Union members from unsettled Strip and Downtown Las Vegas casino properties 

WHAT: Strike picket sign making

WHEN: Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 6pm

WHERE: Culinary Union HQ (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102)

WHY: The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have a strike deadline of Friday, February 2, 2024 at 5:00am Pacific for Rio, Sahara, and Virgin Las Vegas. As negotiations continue to progress, a second strike deadline has now been set for all Downtown Las Vegas companies (Binion’s, Circa, Downtown Grand, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Main Street, and The D Casino) for Monday, February 5, 2024 at 5:00am. 5,200 hospitality workers are eligible for a strike, including 3,200 Downtown Las Vegas and 2,000 at the 3 Las Vegas Strip independent properties. 

The Culinary Union will begin continuous picketing of all unsettled Las Vegas Strip (Rio, Sahara, & Virgin Las Vegas) and Downtown Las Vegas companies (Binion’s, Circa, Downtown Grand, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Main Street, and The D Casino) beginning Friday, February 2nd at 10:00am and will continue through Saturday, February 3rd at 10:00pm, as 2,600 hospitality workers continue fighting for a new 5-year union contract. The labor demonstration on Friday is an informational picket; it is not a strike. Wherever there is an active picket line outside of an unsettled casino, the Culinary Union will be urging customers and community allies to not cross the picket line on Friday and Saturday.

Last year, members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions voted to authorize a Citywide Strike after tens of thousands of hospitality workers packed the Thomas and Mack Center in September 2023 to cast their votes. Contracts for remaining unsettled properties expired June 1, 2023 and all contract extensions have been terminated. Terms and conditions of an expired collective bargaining agreement largely remain in effect, including wages, benefits, and job security protections, but the no-strike provisions are no longer in effect - which allows workers to go on strike anytime.

The Culinary Union is prepared for the strike by amassing supplies and materials to maintain strike stations with multiple picket lines around unsettled casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas, continuing to sign workers up for strike pay and shifts on the strike line, and urging companies to agree to a fair contract now. If an agreement for a new contract is not reached by the respective deadlines, then negotiations would cease and strikes would be called. As negotiations intensify and the strike deadlines loom, the Culinary Union is communicating with hospitality workers throughout the city and getting them ready for a strike. The Culinary Union has been contacting locals, customers, investors, company board members and partners, regulators, and community allies about the impending citywide strike risk and labor dispute in Las Vegas.

Current negotiations schedule:

*February 1: Fremont/Mainstreet, Virgin Las Vegas, Sahara Las Vegas, and Downtown Grand.

Negotiations are on-going with 13 casino resorts in Las Vegas:

-Las Vegas Strip: Rio*, Sahara Las Vegas*, & Virgin Las Vegas*.

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

*If a strike is called, it would mark a historic first for this property as it has never been subject to a Culinary and Bartenders Union strike. 

“We’ve been working hard since last year to win historic contracts, but we aren’t done yet. It’s time for workers to get a fair contract and have security for themselves and their families. Corporations are making record profits and workers deserve to have record contracts,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Workers at the other Strip Independents and Downtown deserve the same wage increases, benefit protections, safety and technology language, and reductions in workloads as the rest of the Las Vegas Strip and they are organized and ready to fight for it. No one wants to strike, but workers are serious and will strike if they have to and the Culinary Union has their back every step of the way. Culinary Union celebrates our 89-year anniversary this year and we know first-hand the organizing and militancy it has taken to build Nevada’s middle class and what it will take to ensure working families can thrive. Nothing in our nine decades has been easily won and our good jobs weren’t simply handed to us. We made hospitality jobs in Las Vegas family-sustaining jobs with decades of sacrifice and strength, and we will continue to win what we deserve - a great union job with fair wages, job security, and the best health care benefits so that workers can continue to provide for their families.”  

In negotiations, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have been winning historic victories for workers including:

*Securing the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Culinary Union’s 89-year-history. The total compensation won by the Culinary Union for workers employed at MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts casino properties is approximately $2 billion over the total five year contract. Every worker will be getting a 10% wage increase in the first year and a total of 32% in raises over the life of the new contract. The average Culinary Union member earns about $28 an hour (including their benefits) under the previous contract, and by the end of this new five year contract, the average Culinary Union member will be earning about $37 an hour (including their benefits).

*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.

*Strengthens existing technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced (which would impact jobs) including technologies with artificial intelligence, increases service recognition pay and extended health care and pension fund contributions for workers who are laid off because of new technology, requires training for new jobs created by technology, introduces the right to bargain over technology that tracks the location of employees, requires notification and opportunity to bargain regarding data sharing, and establishes right to compensation for tipped employees if necessary infrastructure for technology fails resulting in a tipped employee who is unable to do their job.

*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 at MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment properties that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union and its members from taking action, including picketing and leafleting in support of non-union restaurants at the Casinos; and allows non-union restaurant workers to leaflet in front of their venues inside the casino. At Wynn Resorts, making clear that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union from taking action, including strikes, against non-union restaurants on the casino property, and gives casino workers the right to respect picket lines. 

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.  

COMING TO LAS VEGAS? Ahead of the Nevada Primary (February 6), American International Motorcycle Expo 2024 (Feb 6-8), International Roofing Expo 2024 (Feb 6-8), Superbowl LVIII (February 11), MAGIC Spring 2024 (Feb 13-15), Champs Trade Show Winter 2024 (Feb 14-17), NAHB IBS 2024 (February 27-29), Superbowl LVIII (February 11), and CUESPORTS International Expo 2024 (Feb 21-Mar 2), the Culinary Union asks locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support hospitality workers by not patronizing hotels and casinos if and where there is a labor dispute. In an event of a strike, support workers and do not cross picket or strike lines.


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 60% 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 89 years. / @Culinary226 


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