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Las Vegas casino workers to hold citywide strike vote on 22 May

11 May 2018

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Members of UNITE HERE's Culinary and Bartenders Unions will hold a strike vote on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Union contracts covering 50,000 union workers expire on 1 June 2018 at 34 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, including properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Penn National, Golden Entertainment, Boyd Gaming and other companies.

On 22 May, voting will take place in two sessions starting at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The public is advised to avoid the Strip and Tropicana Avenue as tens of thousands of union members are expected to attend the two sessions and cast their votes. If a majority of workers vote yes, the union negotiating committee will be authorized to call for a strike at any time after the contract expires, and workers can walk out on strike starting as soon as the morning of 1 June 2018.

Members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions who will be participating in the 22 May strike vote include bartenders, guest room attendants, cocktail servers, food servers, porters, bellman, cooks and kitchen workers at the casino resorts on the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.

"Over eight decades, casino workers in Las Vegas have been faced with the same decision: Show up or give up. You either show up and fight for what you deserve, or you give up and take whatever the company gives you," said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. "On 22 May, thousands of union members will show casino employers that workers are going to fight for security and that they are not going to be left behind as companies are making record profits and getting windfall tax breaks."

"We are demanding an end to harassment in the workplace. Casino corporations cannot continue to normalize sexual misconduct by high rollers and customers in Las Vegas," said Jocelyn Cegbalic, a cocktail server at the Rio, a Caesars Entertainment property. "The company must take responsibility and work with the Culinary Union to fight sexual harassment and keep us safe. I always do my best to provide excellent service, but I shouldn't have to endure harassment — or worse — from guests who think they can abuse us just because they are on vacation."

"I am going to vote YES to authorize a strike because we are not going to sit back and let casino companies outsource our jobs to robots," said Carlos Martinez, a pantry worker at the Mirage, an MGM Resorts International property. "Technology can be assistive in the workplace, but workers should have a voice in that and additional job training. The company needs to invest in human capital and treat us with dignity."

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have proposed new contract language to provide greater measure of security for members including workplace safety, sexual harassment, subcontracting, technology and immigration. In addition, the Union's economic proposal seeks to provide workers a fair share of the employers' enormous anticipated cash flows and Trump tax windfalls.

In 1984, thousands of Culinary Union members went on a citywide strike across the Las Vegas Strip for 67 days which crippled in the Las Vegas hospitality industry until contracts were settled. The last Culinary Union citywide strike vote was in 2002 when 25,000 workers packed the Thomas and Mack and an overwhelming majority voted yes to authorize a strike.

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are encouraging Nevada locals, elected officials, political candidates and tourists to support workers by patronizing hotels and casinos in case there is a labor dispute on or after 1 June 2018. In an event of a strike, please do not cross picket lines.

The Culinary Union, Nevada's largest union, maintains a website intended as a service for meeting and convention planners and all other travelers who need to know whether labor disputes could affect their plans in Las Vegas. The website is updated with information about actual and potential labor disputes affecting Las Vegas casinos.

Labor contracts for the below 34 casino resorts expire on midnight on 1 June 2018:

Las Vegas Strip

Caesars Entertainment Corporation:
  • Bally's - Las Vegas
  • Caesars Palace, including Nobu
  • Flamingo Las Vegas
  • Harrah's Las Vegas Casino & Hotel
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
  • The Cromwell
  • The Linq Hotel & Casino

Other Las Vegas Strip properties:
  • Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
  • SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, including W Hotel
  • Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower
  • Treasure Island
  • Tropicana Las Vegas
  • Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

MGM Resorts International:
  • Aria Resort & Casino
  • Bellagio
  • Circus Circus Hotel Casino - Las Vegas
  • Excalibur Hotel and Casino
  • Luxor Hotel and Casino
  • MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
  • Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including Delano
  • The Mirage
  • Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino (Park MGM)
  • New York-New York Hotel & Casino

Downtown Las Vegas
  • Binion's Gambling Hall
  • Fremont Hotel & Casino
  • Main Street Station Casino Brewery and Hotel
  • Four Queens Hotel and Casino
  • Golden Gate Hotel & Casino
  • Golden Nugget - Las Vegas
  • The D Las Vegas
  • Downtown Grand Las Vegas
  • Plaza Hotel and Casino
  • El Cortez Hotel & Casino

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