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Friday, September 14, 2007
On our Labor Day edition of NO HOLDS BARRED, we included a salute to the Las Vegas-based Culinary Workers Union Local 226. This 60,000-member union is the largest in Las Vegas, where the casinos, hotels, and other venues in which its members work serve as home for countless combat sports events in boxing, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and wrestling.
Recently, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 have been in contract negotiations with the casinos. Some casinos have already agreed to new contracts with the unions, but many others have not, actually seeking crippling givebacks from the workers. The Tropicana, for example, has proposed a contract in which they would opt out of the Culinary Workers Union's health care and pension plans, thus effectively destroying them.
To counter these attacks and protect the livelihood of their members, the unions polled these members to seek approval for the negotiating committees to authorize "economic action, up to a strike."
The vote: 99% in favor.
Below is the press release issued by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 about these negotiations:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2007
Las Vegas Casino and Laundry Workers Vote to Authorize Strike
Las Vegas - In two separate shift meetings, members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 voted by a 99% margin to authorize their negotiating committees at fourteen Las Vegas casinos and two industrial laundries to call for economic action, up to a strike. The vote covering almost 10,000 casino and laundry workers affects properties in both Downtown Las Vegas and on the Strip.
D. Taylor, Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer noted that, “Today, Culinary members authorized their committee to call for economic action, including a strike, if that is what is necessary to achieve a fair contract. We hope that the affected companies see this vote as a wake-up call. Our goal is to return to the negotiating table and achieve fair, new contracts that protect the Las Vegas Dream for every member of this union, whether they work Downtown, on the Strip, in the casinos, or in the laundries.”
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 represents over 60,000 workers in Nevada. Members of the Culinary Union work in many classifications including cocktail waitresses, cooks, bellmen, kitchen workers, housekeepers, and other service workers. On September 4th, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions, along with their parent union UNITE HERE, announced a $80 million strike fund to pay strike benefits, offer support benefits and cover logistical costs indefinitely.
Las Vegas Properties With Affirmative Strike Vote Results
Las Vegas Club
Las Vegas Hilton
Al Phillips (Laundry)
Mission Industries (Laundry)