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Alana Roberts

Wynn Workers Want Culinary Union

28 April 2005

LAS VEGAS -- Well before the place was set to open, management at Wynn Las Vegas agreed to the organizing campaign of the Culinary Union Local 226.

Now the workers have, too.

Union organizers were able to get a majority of the cocktail servers, bartenders, maids, porters and food service workers at Wynn Las Vegas to agree to join the union, Arte Nathan, chief human resources officer of Wynn Las Vegas, said.

A count of the authorization cards the workers signed to indicate their interest in the union's representation was completed Saturday, Nathan said. About 4,000 of the company's roughly 9,500 workers are eligible to join the union.

Nathan couldn't confirm how many of the cards were signed, but D. Taylor, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, attending Wynn's preopening festivities Wednesday evening, said "more than enough" workers signed the union cards.

"The next step is we negotiate," Nathan said, adding that negotiations for a contract with the union would probably begin in late May.

Nathan said the company has no plans to negotiate with other unions.

"The Culinary is the only one that we've had a relationship with for 16 years," Nathan said.

Some workers at Wynn Las Vegas began working as early as March 28, but the Culinary Union began targeting some workers at their previous unionized jobs before they started work at Wynn Las Vegas.

The card check is the favored form of union organizing for the Culinary Union. The card check can be performed instead of the National Labor Relations Board-supervised election, which union officials say gives companies the opportunity to scare workers out of joining the union.

Another component of the card check is the neutrality agreement, where the union targets the company's management to agree to respect the card check if a majority of workers sign off on the union's leadership