Culinary Union to picket Virgin Las Vegas on Thursday as negotiations continue



Thursday, April 11, 2024 


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Culinary Union to picket Virgin Las Vegas on Thursday as negotiations continue -

Las Vegas, NV -  Culinary Union to picket Virgin Las Vegas on Thursday, April 11, 2024. The strike deadline extension for that property has expired and a strike can now be called at anytime. If a strike is called, it would mark a historic first for this property as it has never been subject to a Culinary and Bartenders Union strike. 


*Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for Culinary Union

*Diana Valles, President of the Culinary Union 

*Culinary and Bartenders Union members

WHAT: Picket of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas 

WHEN: Thursday, April 11, 2024 from 10am-12pm and 5-7pm 

WHERE: Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169) 

WHY: The Culinary and Bartenders Unions will picket Virgin Hotel Las Vegas as workers continue negotiating to win a new 5-year union contract. The labor demonstration is an informational picket, not a strike. When there is an active picket line outside of a casino, there is a labor dispute, and so the Culinary Union will be urging customers and community allies to not cross the picket line at the Virgin Las Vegas and will be encouraging visitors to cancel their reservation, check out of the property, and choose a union accommodation. In an event of a strike, support workers and do not cross picket or strike lines. 

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 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 contract which expired June 1, 2023 and the extension was terminated. Terms and conditions of an expired collective bargaining agreement largely remain in effect, including wages, benefits, and job security protections, but the no-strike provisions are no longer in effect - which allows workers to go on strike anytime. 

The Culinary Union has already prepared for the strike by amassing supplies and materials to maintain 24/7 strike stations with multiple picket lines around Virgin Las Vegas and continuing to get workers ready to strike by signing workers up for strike pay and picket shifts. The Culinary Union has been contacting locals, customers, investors, company board members and partners, regulators, and community allies about the strike risk and labor dispute at Virgin Las Vegas. 

“We’ve been working hard since last year to win historic contracts, but we aren’t done yet. It’s time for workers at Virgin Las Vegas to get a fair contract and have security for themselves and their families,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Workers at Virgin Las Vegas deserve the same wage increases as the rest of the Las Vegas Strip and they are organized and ready to fight for it. No one wants to strike, but workers are serious and will strike if they have to and the Culinary Union has their back every step of the way. Culinary Union celebrates our 89-year anniversary this year and we know first-hand the organizing and militancy it has taken to build Nevada’s middle class and what it will take to ensure working families can thrive. Nothing in our nine decades has been easily won and our good jobs weren’t simply handed to us. We made hospitality jobs in Las Vegas family-sustaining jobs with decades of sacrifice and strength, and we will continue to win what we deserve - a great union job with fair wages, job security, and the best health care benefits so that workers can continue to provide for their families.” 

COMING TO LAS VEGAS AND PLANNING TO STAY AT VIRGIN LAS VEGAS? Ahead of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Western Regional Conference 2024 (April 18-21), Accelerate 2024 (April 20), PECAA 2024 Annual Meeting (April 29–May 1), 13th Annual Circus Couture (May 2), JA 2024 Golden Ticket Raffle (June 27), SEICon 2024 (July 15-17), Wespay Payments Symposium (September 11-13), 2024 USSSA National Conference (September 29-October 1), RISE Conference (October 21-23), Sin City F&F Halloween Ball (October 26), 2nd Annual Vegas NFR Icons Tribute Luncheon (December 8), 2025 Academic Surgical Congress (February 11-13) and Exchange 2025 (March 23-26), the Culinary Union is asking locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support hospitality workers by not patronizing hotels and casinos during a labor dispute. In an event of a strike, support workers and do not cross picket or strike lines.

In negotiations, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have been winning 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 over 50,000 is approximately $3 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. 


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 60% 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 89 years. / @Culinary226 


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