UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union to drive turnout in the Nevada Caucus



Friday, February 14, 2020


Bethany Khan: bkhan@culinaryunion226.org ▪ (702) 387-7088

UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union to drive turnout in the Nevada Caucus 

Las Vegas, NV – UNITE HERE’s Culinary Union, the strongest political force in the state, will host a series of events to drive voter turnout during the week of the Nevada Caucus. The Culinary Union and UNITE HERE, the national hospitality workers union, has declined to make an endorsement ahead of the Nevada Caucus, but remains committed to defeating Trump on Election Day.

Culinary Union members will picket outside of the Palms Casino as workers fight for a contract, drive turnout for early vote, and mobilize shift workers to participate in the Nevada Democratic Caucus at Las Vegas Strip casino sites.

The Culinary Union is working with the Las Vegas gaming corporations, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn to ensure workers are able to vote early (February 15th – February 18th) and participate on Saturday, February 22nd at special caucus locations on the Las Vegas Strip.

On average, over 91,000 Culinary Union members and their family members are registered to vote in Nevada.

Culinary Union’s Secretary-Treasurer, Geoconda Argüello-Kline (https://www.culinaryunion226.org/union/officers/geoconda-arguello-kline), and workers will be available for interviews in English and Spanish.

MEDIA RSVP for the below (2/15-2/21) events: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf9WanZ_mb-cfsWV4Bv9vCezd6vn_3zl_vuZO6JI0VAfIi34g/viewform


* Saturday, February 15th– Friday, February 21st: Phone banking at the Culinary Union (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102).

Culinary Union members to phonebank 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm daily as they drive early vote and Caucus Day turnout. One variance to phonebank schedule: Sunday, February 16th: 1pm-5pm only.

Saturday, February 15th at 9:30am: Early Vote Launch at the Culinary Union (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102).

Early Vote is February 15th – 18th. The Culinary Union is an Early Vote site for the first time. Culinary Union members to launch their phonebank program for the day and vote early onsite with their families. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and Congresswoman Susie Lee to attend and cast their early vote ballots.

* Monday, February 17th at 10am: Senator Jacky Rosen to vote with workers at the Culinary Union’s early vote location (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102).

* Tuesday, February 18th at 10am: Culinary Union members to launch for the day in the Big Hall and vote together on the last day of Early Vote (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102).

* Tuesday, February 18th from 5:30pm-6:30pm: The Culinary Union to host an intimate event with guest room attendants, and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, for a discussion about working women’s fight for One Job Should Be Enough. The event will take place in the Culinary Union’s Big Hall (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102).

* Wednesday, February 19th from 10am-11am: Picket at The Palms Casino (4321 West Flamingo Road Las Vegas, Nevada 89103).

Hundreds to picket outside of The Palms Casino as Station Casinos’ workers fight for a first union contract. Workers have voted in 3 separate National Labor Board Relations elections to join Culinary and Bartenders Union, Teamsters Local 986, and Operating Engineers Local 501 respectively.

Cooks, kitchen workers, food servers, bartenders, cocktail servers, and housekeepers make the company, Station Casinos, successful. However, workers do not have good family healthcare and retirement benefits, job security or a grievance process.

Station Casinos’ workers are rising up and organizing because they want to be treated fairly. In this crucial fight, largely immigrant workers are rising up against two billionaire owners, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who are major funders of the Trump Victory Fund and supporters of the Republican agenda.

Workers at seven Station Casinos’ Las Vegas properties are fighting for a union contract after voting to join the Culinary and Bartenders Union in NLRB elections: Boulder Station (September 2016), Palace Station (March 2017), Green Valley Ranch (November 2017), Palms (April 2018), Sunset Station (June 2019), Fiesta Rancho (June 2019), Fiesta Henderson (September 2019).  Workers and the Culinary Union are also vigorously challenging Stations Casino’s union busting actions during the Red Rock election in December 2019 so they too can get a union contract.

All 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are invited to walk the picket line with workers who are fighting for a contract. Nearly all have already confirmed.

Thursday, February 20th at 10am: Culinary Union members to phonebank 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm daily as they drive Caucus Day turnout (1630 South Commerce Street Las Vegas, Nevada 89102).

Friday, February 21st at 9am: Tour of the Culinary Health Center for media with UNITE HERE president, D. Taylor (650 North Nellis Blvd Las Vegas, Nevada 89110).

The Culinary Health Center is innovative, high-quality, and multi-service. Culinary Health Center is designed to provide increased access to primary, preventative, pediatric, urgent, dental, and vision care to tens of thousands of eligible Las Vegas Culinary Health Fund members. A second location of a Culinary “Free” Pharmacy is located at the Culinary Health Center. 

NOTE: The Culinary Health Center will be open for patients. Photos and video showing patients faces are in violation of HIPAA and will not be permitted. Be prepared with a completed confidentiality agreement, all media are required to sign: https://unitehere.box.com/s/nkwt59eueolycioyfyrrhaf5ojfpoqq5

* Friday, February 21st at 1:30pm: Tour of the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas for the media with Culinary Union president, Ted Pappageorge. ( 710 West Lake Mead Blvd, North Las Vegas, Nevada 89030).

The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, founded in 1993, is a nationally recognized model of labor and management cooperation and is a partnership between the Culinary and Bartenders Unions and 29 properties on the Las Vegas Strip. The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas has trained over 55,000 workers in high-quality programs which facilitate entry into the hospitality industry and improve workers’ ability to move up in their careers.

NOTE: Classes are in session, please be mindful of student’s right to privacy.

* Saturday, February 22nd at 12pm: Culinary Union members caucus on the Las Vegas Strip at Bellagio, Harrah’s, Rio, Paris Las Vegas, Park MGM, Mandalay Bay, and Wynn.

Media invited to observe and interview Culinary Union members who will caucus during their lunch break at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino (3600 South Las Vegas Boulevard Las Vegas, NV 89109).

The Bellagio caucus location is the only Las Vegas Strip caucus location that will be open to media. Registration opens at 10am. Caucus to begin at 12pm.

Media must check in as an observer and follow the rules and guidelines set forward for observers. Review the rules and guidelines laid out for guests and observers here.

If you will require ethernet or satellite truck parking, please contact MGM’s A/V team: Jeffrey Leibow: Jeffrey.Leibow@encore-us.com and mkilkenny@bellagioresort.com.




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 130,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest 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. 


CulinaryUnion226.org / @Culinary226

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