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Alana Roberts

Culinary, Aladdin in Negotiations on Deal

11 March 2005

LAS VEGAS -- The Culinary Local 226 is currently in subcommittee negotiations with the Aladdin, working to hammer out the union's first deal with one of the three remaining large nonunion hotels on the Strip.

Negotiations with the owners of the Aladdin began earlier this month, D. Taylor, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, said. He said the union is currently involved in subcommittee meetings ironing out details on behalf of specific groups of workers. The union is negotiating with the company on behalf of about 1,500 cocktail servers, bartenders, maids, porters and food service workers.

He said negotiation meetings on behalf of all of the workers will resume in the third week of March. Taylor characterized the negotiations positively.

"It's been very successful, particularly with departmental issues that are very complicated," Taylor said.

The Aladdin is currently owned by OpBiz LLC, a partnership between Robert Earl, the co-founder and chief executive of Planet Hollywood International Inc.; Bay Harbor Management LC; and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

If the union is able to reach a deal with the Aladdin, the only major Strip hotels without Culinary contracts would be the Venetian and the Imperial Palace.

Taylor said the card check process at Wynn Las Vegas is progressing. He said the union is now targeting union workers at their current jobs.

Wynn Las Vegas is scheduled to open April 28.

"We're talking to people potentially going to Wynn," Taylor said. "Many of them are working in their unionized jobs."

Arte Nathan, chief human resources officer of Wynn Resorts, said the company and the union reached a neutrality agreement.

A card check is a form of union organizing that calls on organizers to get workers to sign cards specifying their support of the union. The other component of that form of organizing is the neutrality agreement, with the company agreeing to accept the union once a majority of workers sign union cards.