Caesars workers share strike and bargaining concerns at company’s annual shareholder meeting


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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Bethany Khan ▪ ▪ (702) 387-7088

Caesars workers share strike and bargaining concerns at company’s annual shareholder meeting

Las Vegas, NV – A delegation of workers from Caesars Entertainment Corporation briefly left contract negotiation subcommittee meetings with the company today to attend the gaming company’s annual shareholder meeting. The subcommittee meetings are being held at the Culinary Union and the shareholder meeting took place at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip.

Hospitality workers who attended the annual shareholder meeting on behalf of their 12,000 co-workers shared their concerns about that status of negotiations:

“We want fair wages, a pension so we can retire with dignity and we want to protect our health plan. But the company made basically the same economic proposal it made in the Great Recession. The recession is over,” said Diana Thomas, a guest room attendant at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. “The company is getting a big Trump tax break. They wiped out half their debt. The clock is ticking. We need to reach a fair agreement.”

“We were there during the recession and the bankruptcy when the company was struggling.  We suffered too. Now the company is out of bankruptcy and doing really well,” said Francisco Ruffino, a cook at the Paris Hotel & Casino. “We are asking for one-dollar raise in the first year. A one-dollar raise for 12,000 of us will cover our wage increase, health insurance and pension, and cost less than what the company paid the CEO last year.”

“We voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike after June 1 because we want security. Physical security at work. Economic security for our families and job security for our future,” said Rory Kuykendall, a bellman at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino. “A strike is a last resort, but for us, our future is on the line and believe me, we know that.”

Union contracts covering 50,000 union workers expire midnight May 31, 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. 

Just eight days earlier, 25,000 union members participated in a strike vote at the Thomas & Mack Center and 99% vote to authorize the union to call a strike if a fair agreement is not reached.



Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 54% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 173 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 83 years. / @Culinary226 

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