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Howard Stutz

Culinary plans demonstration to draw attention to labor issues

7 June 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Local union leaders are stepping up efforts to keep ongoing contract talks in the public eye after labor agreements covering more than 40,000 Las Vegas hotel and restaurant workers expired late last week.

Culinary Workers Local 226 said the union is planning to demonstrate on the Strip on front of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on June 14 to bring attention to the labor issues.

The Culinary has been attempting to negotiate a contract with the Cosmopolitan but has been unsuccessful. The union demonstrated in front of the resort in March in which nearly 100 union members were cited for civil disobedience.

Culinary spokeswoman Yvanna Cancela said it was still to be determined what form the newest demonstration will take.

Also, the Culinary launched a website — — to share information about the union’s various labor disputes in Las Vegas. Union leaders said the website was “a service for meeting and convention planners and all other travelers” on how the labor disputes could disrupt travel plans.

Meanwhile, union leaders and the leadership of Bartenders Local 165 are continuing to negotiate new five-year agreements with hotel-casino operators covering wages and benefits for food servers, bartenders, cooks, bell desk workers, housekeepers and other nongaming positions.

The union said agreements to extend contracts during the negotiations have been reached with seven resorts operated by Caesars Entertainment Corp., and nine hotel-casinos owned by MGM Resorts International.

Also, contracts have been extended at the Golden Nugget, Four Queens, Golden Gate, Stratosphere, and The D Las Vegas.

The union said nine casinos have yet to sign contract extensions, including the Tropicana, Riviera, Treasure Island, El Cortez, Main Street Station, Fremont, Binion’s, Plaza, and Las Vegas Club.

In a statement, union leaders said they were disappointed by the lack of extensions at the nine casinos. They said the last casino to reject an extension was the New Frontier, site of a nearly six-and-a-half-year long strike.