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Alana Roberts

Mediator Goes to Work on Union Dispute

15 November 2004

Operating Engineers Local 501 and Mandalay Resort Group bosses met Friday for negotiations with the help of a federal mediator in hopes of hammering out a contract to cover about 320 maintenance workers at three hotels.

George Scott, business representative of the union, said in a phone message on Sunday the union and the company agreed to avoid comment on the status of the negotiations until next bargaining session.

The next session has not been scheduled.

Scott could not be reached for comment this morning.

Kit Turner, director of corporate human resources at Mandalay Resort Group, this morning declined to comment.

The two sides are working on a contract agreement for workers at Luxor, Circus Circus and Excalibur. The workers perform maintenance functions at the hotel-casinos and have been without a new contract since their previous one expired March 31.

They've worked under an indefinite contract extension since March 30. Both sides agreed at a negotiation session last Monday to come back to the bargaining table on Friday ready to make concessions, Scott said last week. He said the federal mediator encouraged both sides to make concessions.

Scott said last week the mediator's presence is a positive for the negotiations process.

The union rejected a two-tier wage proposal by the company in July that would start new members at $3 less than the $21 an hour the properties' journeymen currently make. The union's members in September voted to authorize its leaders to strike if the company doesn't rescind its two-tier proposal.