Culinary and Bartenders Unions conclude historic COVID-19 negotiations with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment to protect workers



Monday, August 31, 2020


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Culinary and Bartenders Unions conclude historic COVID-19 negotiations with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment to protect workers

Las Vegas, NV – The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are pleased to announce new agreements with MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment, Inc. covering 36,000 unionized hospitality workers who are employed at 22 hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions first began negotiations with the two largest casino companies regarding additional protections for workers in response to the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic on March 11, 2020.

“Behind every worker is a family, and we are proud to have partnered with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment during this difficult time to ensure workers are protected during this pandemic and are not left behind when the economy recovers,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “These new historic agreements mean workers will have their family health benefits in place until next year, even if they are currently laid off, and that workers will be able to return to their jobs as business recovers with full seniority rights." 

The Memorandum of Agreement with MGM Resorts protects 24,000 workers employed in Las Vegas throughout MGM Resorts International casino resorts: ARIA, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, MGM Grand Laundry, Mandalay Bay (including Delano), The Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM, Signature, and Vdara. The Memorandum of Agreement with Caesars Entertainment covers 12,000 hospitality workers at Caesars Entertainment, Inc. casino resorts in Las Vegas: Bally’s Las Vegas, Caesars Laundry, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, The Cromwell, The LINQ Hotel + Experience, Caesars Palace (including Nobu Hotel), and the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

“Our industry and communities are facing unprecedented challenges, and MGM Resorts is working tirelessly to grow business and reduce the impact on workers and the economy. We are doing all that we can to get our employees back to work as soon as possible,” said MGM Resorts CEO and President Bill Hornbuckle. “We thank the Culinary Union for their partnership during these difficult times and look forward to when we can welcome back more of our colleagues. We’re all in this together, and I have no doubt that we will emerge stronger and more successful than ever on the other side.”

“Our Team Members are an integral cornerstone to the foundation of our company and of the city of Las Vegas,” said Tom Reeg, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. “This agreement is an important step in continuing to ensure our Team Members and their families are protected during these unpredictable times.”

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions will continue negotiating the same protections for 24,000 workers who are employed at other casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, including for unionized workers at Station Casinos.

Summary of key negotiated protections:

*Continued no-monthly premium and full-family healthcare through the Culinary Health Fund for furloughed workers through March 1, 2021.

*2-year recall rights for union workers who were laid off as a result of COVID-19, which means they can return to their same jobs with full seniority as business improves. Employees not recalled back to work will still be eligible for unemployment benefits.

*10 paid days for quarantine initiated by the Southern Nevada Health District or the Employer.

*No attendance points/discipline to any worker who calls out sick or who is in quarantine because of COVID-19 symptoms.

*An opportunity for workers to work in a different job if more employees are needed.

*The possibility of an unpaid leave of absence for up to 6 weeks for workers, if they wish to request one.

*Training for managers on responding to workers when they come forward with positive test results for the virus.


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 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 -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 85 years. / @Culinary226 


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