MAY 13, 2024: For the first time in over 22 years, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions led 700+ hospitality workers in a strike as they continue to push for a new 5-year union contract at Virgin Las Vegas. A planned 48-hour strike at Virgin Las Vegas began Friday, May 10th at 5:00am and ended as of 5:00am on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th.

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions maintained a 24/7 strike over 48-hours which impacted all major areas of operations at Virgin Las Vegas, including housekeeping, food and beverage departments, and the following unionized restaurants: Casa Calavera, Funny Library Coffee Shop, Juice Bar, The Bar at Commons Club, The Kitchen at Commons Club, and The Shag Room. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (“Virgin Las Vegas”) is owned by JC Hospitality, LLC, in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, Fengate Asset Management of Toronto, and the LiUNA Pension Fund of Easter and Central Canada. 

For weeks leading up the strike, the Culinary Union contacted locals, customers, investors, company board members and partners, regulators, and community allies about the increasing labor dispute at Virgin Las Vegas. According to local reporting, Virgin Las Vegas was not accepting bookings for hotel rooms via its website reservation portal for the two days of the strike, May 10-11.

Last year, members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions voted to authorize a Citywide Strike after tens of thousands of hospitality workers packed the Thomas and Mack Center in September 2023 to cast their votes. Contracts for over 50,000 workers have since been settled and workers have won the best contract ever. Contract negotiations for one casino property remains: The Virgin Las Vegas, where the contract expired June 1, 2023. Initially, the casino was given a strike deadline extension of February 2nd, another extension to March 9th, and ultimately a 48-hour strike was called for from May 10th at 5:00am to May 12th at 4:59am. 



Sunday, February 4, 2024

STATEMENT by Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge regarding the historic citywide contract victory:

The Culinary Union is pleased to announce that a tentative agreement on a new 5-year contract was just reached with the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino for nearly 200 hospitality workers and we congratulate workers on winning the best contract ever.

As negotiations continue to progress, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have decided to give Virgin Hotel Las Vegas more time and we expect a resolution on a new contract in the coming weeks.

These were tough negotiations and it took over 2 years of preparation, 10 months of negotiations, lots of hard work, committee meetings, sleepless nights, and worker-led organizing. No victory in our union’s history is ever guaranteed and thousands of workers who participated in rallies, protests, civil disobedience, picketing, surveys, picket sign making, strike voting, and delegations inside the properties sacrificed to win a better future for themselves and our families. Culinary Union members comprise a major component of Nevada’s middle-class and in these negotiations, we proudly won our fair share of record profits by securing historic protections and billions in raises for working families in Nevada. 

With the strike being averted, the Culinary Union welcomes President Joe Biden to Las Vegas. We know that he is a champion for workers and we are grateful for his continued leadership. We appreciate the Biden/Harris Administration’s steadfast support during our historic contract fight to ensure that working families in Nevada can thrive.

In negotiations, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have won historic victories for workers including:

*Securing the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Culinary Union’s 89-year-history. The total compensation won by the Culinary Union for workers employed at MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts casino properties is approximately $2 billion over the total five year contract. Every worker will be getting a 10% wage increase in the first year and a total of 32% in raises over the life of the new contract. The average Culinary Union member earns about $28 an hour (including their benefits) under the previous contract, and by the end of this new five year contract, the average Culinary Union member will be earning about $37 an hour (including their benefits).

*Reducing workload and steep housekeeping room quotas, daily room cleaning, and establishing the right for guest room attendants to securely work in set areas.

*Providing the best on-the-job safety protections for all classifications, including safety committees, expanding the use of safety buttons to more workers, penalties if safety buttons don’t work, enforcing mandatory room checks for employee and public safety, and tracking sexual harassment, assault, and criminal behavior by customers.

*Strengthens existing technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced (which would impact jobs) including technologies with artificial intelligence, increases service recognition pay and extended health care and pension fund contributions for workers who are laid off because of new technology, requires training for new jobs created by technology, introduces the right to bargain over technology that tracks the location of employees, requires notification and opportunity to bargain regarding data sharing, and establishes right to compensation for tipped employees if necessary infrastructure for technology fails resulting in a tipped employee who is unable to do their job.

*Extending recall rights so that workers have more job security and have the right to return to their jobs in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis for up to three-years.

*Making clear at MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment properties that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union and its members from taking action, including picketing and leafleting in support of non-union restaurants at the Casinos; and allows non-union restaurant workers to leaflet in front of their venues inside the casino. At Wynn Resorts, making clear that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union from taking action, including strikes, against non-union restaurants on the casino property, and gives casino workers the right to respect picket lines.

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is the largest labor union in Nevada, and alongside the Bartenders Union Local 165, represents 60,000 guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers statewide.  

MEDIA: All information and details on this page should be requested before being used in a story and fact checked as current as all items are subject to be changed. Per negotiating agreements, exact proposals are not provided on the record.

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