Culinary Union calls for worker retention as the Palms Casino is sold by its private-equity owners to Station Casinos


Thursday, May 12, 2016

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Culinary Union calls for worker retention as the Palms Casino is sold by its private-equity owners to Station Casinos

Las Vegas, NV – The Culinary Union calls on TPG and Leonard Green Partners to ensure employee retention is a condition of the sale of the Palms Casino Resort to Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR), locally known as Station Casinos. 

“It is standard practice in the Las Vegas gaming industry for workers to keep their jobs without loss of seniority or benefits when their casino is sold, and the Palms workers deserve to be treated fairly,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “The workers at the Palms have also made it clear that they want a fair process to choose whether to unionize and we will continue to support them until they achieve their goals.” 

Las Vegas casinos typically retain the bulk of hourly workers in the event of a change in ownership because of provisions in collective bargaining agreements between the Culinary and Bartenders unions and casino employers. This practice has prevailed even when there is not a union agreement. For example, workers were retained without being required to reapply when:

“If TPG and Leonard Green appreciate the work we’ve done to save the Palms and turn things around since 2011, they should make sure that we workers – including those subcontracted out to Sodexo – are not out of a job when they leave and Station Casinos takes over,” said Jose Luis Cuevas, a porter at the Palms. “We want to see a clear, written commitment from these big companies that workers will get to keep our jobs, with the same seniority and benefits, when the sale goes through.”

Workers have also been demanding a fair process to choose whether to unionize at the Palms. Last June, Palms worker leaders delivered a petition to CEO Todd Greenberg asking the company to remain neutral and allow workers to make their own decision about unionization without management interference, intimidation, harassment, bullying, and litigation. In September, faith leaders joined Palms workers to deliver a second fair process petition, which was signed by a majority of Palms workers in the Culinary and Bartenders unions’ bargaining unit. TPG, Leonard Green Partners, and Palms local management have not agreed to honor the workers’ demand. On March 18, 2016, union members joined Palms workers on a massive picket line in front of the property, a mile from the Strip, to demonstrate the escalation of the labor dispute.

“Organizing freely without management interference is the standard for Las Vegas casinos,” said Jose Salguero, a porter at the Palms. “We deserve to have a fair process to decide for ourselves like tens of thousands of workers have done on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas.”

On the Las Vegas Strip, the following properties near and around the Palms have respected their workers’ decision to organize through a fair process: Stratosphere, SLS, Hilton Grand Vacations, Circus Circus, Encore, Wynn, Treasure Island, Mirage, Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Linq, Flamingo, Cromwell, Bellagio, Bally’s, Rio, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Vdara, Cosmopolitan, Aria, Signature, Monte Carlos, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Tropicana, Delano, and Mandalay Bay.

There is a major labor dispute at the following Station Casinos properties: Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Palace Station, Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson.

NEW VIDEO: “Labor dispute escalates at the Palms Casino Resort”

Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. / @Culinary226


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