Culinary Union sets STRIKE deadline: February 2, 2024 at 5:00am for nearly 8,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas



Monday, January 8, 2024 


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088


Culinary Union sets STRIKE deadline: February 2, 2024 at 5:00am for nearly 8,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas

*UPDATE 1/12: Tentative agreemeent reached with Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas*

BROLL from the Strike Vote

Las Vegas, NV -  The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have set a strike deadline of Friday, February 2, 2024 at 5:00am Pacific for 7,700 hospitality workers in Las Vegas. If negotiations breakdown ahead of the strike deadline, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions’ worker negotiating committee may call for strike sooner at individual properties.

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largely remain in effect, including wages, benefits, and job security protections, but the no-strike provisions are no longer in effect - which allows workers to go on strike anytime.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 has prepared for the strike by amassing supplies and materials to maintain strike stations with multiple picket lines around 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 Friday, February 2, 2024 at 5:00am then negotiations would cease, labor demonstrations will begin outside of casino properties, and strikes would be called.

As negotiations intensify and the strike deadline looms, the Culinary Union is communicating with hospitality workers throughout the city and getting them ready for strikes that could occur anytime between today and February 2, 2024. The Culinary Union has also begun contacting locals, customers, investors, company board members and partners, regulators, and community allies about the impending citywide strike risk in Las Vegas. Culinary Union will also commence large-scale labor demonstrations, including workers picketing before and after their shifts, ahead of the deadline. 

Upcoming negotiations schedule:

*January 9: Hilton Grand Vacations, Strat

*January 10: Circus Circus

*January 11: Sahara

*January 12: The D, Circa, Golden Gate, Treasure Island, Waldorf

*January 16: Westgate

*January 17: Trump Hotel Las Vegas

*January 18: Grand Sierra Resort (Reno)

Negotiations are on-going with 21 casino resorts in Las Vegas:

*Las Vegas Strip: Circus Circus*, Hilton Grand Vacations*, Rio*, Sahara Las Vegas*, Strat*, Treasure Island*, 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.

*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 with Big 3 and several independent casinos, but we aren’t done yet. It’s time for 7,700 workers employed at 21 properties 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 Strip Independents and Downtown deserve the same wage increases, benefit protections, safety and technology language, and reductions in workloads as the rest of the 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.” 

“I am a mom of three daughters and I was able to raise my children and not have to worry about medical bills if they were ever sick because I have the best health care. Now, I’m fighting to protect my benefits and win a fair wage increase,” said Maria Polanco, cashier at Rio and Culinary Union member for 20 years. “I have talked to my family about this contract fight and they support me. They all know that I’m ready to go on strike if necessary and they have my back, which important to me because that gives me the strength to keep organizing and pushing. Being a union member has changed my life and my co-workers and we are united to win the best contract ever!"

"We are fighting to have the same wages increase as the rest of the Strip because we deserve to know that we are secure with a new union contract. I've been working at Trump Hotel Las Vegas for 12 years, but my current salary is not enough. When I go grocery shopping I have to look for sales to make ends meet,” said Marisela Olvera, Housekeeping inspector at Trump Hotel and Culinary Union member for 7 years. “During the pandemic, we kept the hotel running and it is successful because of us. The most important item in the contract for me is the security proposal to win safety buttons for housekeepers so we are safer at work. My coworkers and I are ready to fight and we are united to win the best contract ever!"

“When I first started working at the Westgate, there used to be five union restaurants, but after four decades there is only one now - the steakhouse where I work,” said Ray Lujan, Food server at the Westgate and Culinary Union member for 42 years. “The non-union restaurant workers don’t have the same health care benefits, pension, or wage increases as us union members. I want the right to support non-union worker picket lines and that proposal on the table in negotiations is important to me. I went on strike back in 1984 at the Westgate and I’m willing to go on strike again to win the best contract ever. One job should be enough!” 

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. 

*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. 

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. 

COMING TO LAS VEGAS? Ahead of Consumer Electronics Show (January 9-12), World of Concrete (January 23-25), the International Surface Expo (January 24-26), SHOT Show 2024 (January 23-26), the Republican Primary (February 6), NAHB IBS 2024 (February 27-29), and Superbowl LVIII (February 11), 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 disputeIn 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 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 89 years. / @Culinary226 


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