Centerplate workers at Las Vegas Convention Center will vote on possible strike



Monday, November 21, 2022 


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Centerplate workers at Las Vegas Convention Center will vote on possible strike

Conventions are booming, but Sodexo workers say their jobs aren’t enough for cost of living

LIVESTREAM: UNITE HERE press conference

Las Vegas, NV – Cooks, dishwashers, banquet servers, concessions cashiers, and other Centerplate workers at the Las Vegas Convention have announced plans for a strike authorization vote to be held on December 7 and 8, 2022. Culinary Union represents approximately 300 employees at the Las Vegas Convention Center and workers say their jobs aren’t enough to keep up with the cost of living. Centerplate was purchased by Sodexo in 2019.

“I'm voting to strike because we are the ones that make the Convention Center successful, and we want to get a fair share of that success,” said Dylan Schoenhard, banquet server for Centerplate at Las Vegas Convention Center. “We have been busy at the Convention Center, with big shows like SEMA coming soon, but we need higher pay because everything is so much more expensive now, especially rent and housing. We don't want to be treated like second-class workers.”

FACTS: The Las Vegas Convention Center had more conventions in FY22 than in FY2019, and facilities usage revenue increased [1] and Sodexo reported a “strong increase in revenues and profitability in Fiscal 2022.[2] Yet, cooks, dishwashers, concessions cashiers, and other Sodexo food service workers at the convention center say their jobs aren’t enough to keep up with the cost of living. According to a UNITE HERE survey of 154 out of 449 Sodexo convention center workers in Detroit, Sacramento, and Las Vegas, approximately 84% of workers reported having trouble covering at least one expense – rent or mortgage, food, utilities, transportation, healthcare, childcare – in the past year. 45% reported having trouble covering food.[3] 

UNITE HERE fact sheet available here.

“After the COVID-19 pandemic, convention business is booming again, and Culinary Union members work tirelessly to provide the best service,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “The Las Vegas Convention Center generates billions in positive economic impact for Nevada per year, but the Centerplate workers who make that possible are getting left behind. Centerplate workers at the Las Vegas Convention Center are taking a strike vote on December 7 and 8 because they deserve good jobs.”

In a press conference today, Sodexo workers and union leaders in Las Vegas and four other major convention cities – Orlando, Detroit, Sacramento, New Orleans – called on Sodexo to avoid labor disputes and possible strikes. Sodexo workers at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center announced that they have already voted to authorize a strike by 100%. The bargaining units and disputes at each convention center are distinct.

In addition to low wages, Sodexo convention center workers say the workforce was significantly reduced during the pandemic – and now they’re doing more work with less help. The Las Vegas Convention Center had 56% fewer Sodexo workers in August 2022 than in February 2020. Across all five convention centers, Black workers were more likely not to keep their jobs than white workers: 57% of Black workers did not keep their jobs, compared to 51% of white workers.  

[1] P 166:


[3] Results from a UNITE HERE survey of Sodexo workers at the Las Vegas, Detroit, and Sacramento convention centers conducted between July 2022 and October 2022. Responses were collected from 77 Las Vegas workers (43% of 179 workers, excluding on-call banquet servers who are less likely to be called to work), 59 Detroit workers (31% of 185 workers on the bargaining unit list provided by the company), and 18 Sacramento workers (21% of 85 workers, excluding on-call banquet servers who are less likely to be called to work).


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 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 300,000 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 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting and winning for working families in Nevada for 87 years. / @Culinary226 


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