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Gaming Guru

Jeff Simpson

Culinary Slates Aladdin Rally, Targets Schwarzenegger

1 October 2003

LAS VEGAS -- Hoping to capitalize on the media frenzy surrounding actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign to be elected governor of California, the Culinary Local 226 plans to demonstrate today at Schwarzenegger's Santa Monica, Calif., production offices on behalf of Aladdin workers.

Five Aladdin workers and three Culinary staffers are expected to join a couple of dozen Southern California union allies today at Schwarzenegger's Oak Productions, targeting the actor because of his affiliation with Planet Hollywood, the themed-restaurant company, Culinary Political Director Glen Arnodo said Tuesday.

Schwarzenegger is expected to have a busy day today campaigning for Tuesday's recall election, Arnodo said, and the union decided to demonstrate at his offices rather than try to trail his campaign stops.

"We're not there to embarrass Arnold," Arnodo said. "The message is: Arnold, help us. Help immigrant workers, like those at the Aladdin. You're an immigrant, too. Help us."

The candidate was a founder and part owner of Planet Hollywood, which twice emerged from bankruptcy. Schwarzenegger is no longer an owner of the Florida-based company, but still has a deal allowing the company to use his name and likeness, Arnodo said.

With a group fronted by Planet Hollywood Chairman Robert Earl set to acquire the Aladdin out of bankruptcy after the buyers pass regulatory muster, and the union frustrated by the tactics of current Aladdin management, Arnodo said the Culinary hopes to persuade Schwarzenegger and Planet Hollywood to signal current Aladdin owners to allow the union to represent the megaresort's workers.

More than 70 percent of the resort's workers have signed cards signaling their desire for Culinary representation, union officials have said.