Virgin Las Vegas ON STRIKE - Day 1

Virgin Las Vegas casino ON STRIKE! Culinary Union maintains a 48-hour strike at Virgin Las Vegas May 10 to May 12 at 4:59am Las Vegas, NV -  For the first time in over 22 years, the Culinary Union has taken hospitality workers out on strike as workers continue pushing to win a new 5-year union contract at Virgin Las Vegas. A 48-hour strike at Virgin Las Vegas began Friday, May 10th at 5:00am as hundreds of workers walked off the job and onto the 24/7 picket line. The planned 48-hour strike will end on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th at 4:59am. The strike, involving over 700 Virgin Las Vegas hospitality workers, marks a historic first for this property as it has never been subject to a Culinary and Bartenders Union strike. Main table negotiations with Virgin Las Vegas are scheduled for Tuesday, May 14. During a strike, the Culinary Union urges the community and customers to support workers, do *not* patronize any business or event on the property, and to avoid crossing strike lines to enter into the casino. The labor demonstration is a 48-hour complete work stoppage by unionized hospitality workers. When there is an active picket line outside of a casino, there is a labor dispute, and so the Culinary Union is urging customers to cancel their reservation, check out of the property, and choose a union accommodation. “The contract at Virgin Las Vegas has been expired for nearly a year and even though we’ve been negotiating for over 5 months, there hasn’t been enough movement from the company on fair wage increases. The workers have been patient and have given the company plenty of time, but that time is up,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Workers need a raise and have been clear on what they deserve, but the company has been coming to the table with zeros for wages. That’s why until 4:59am on Mother’s Day, Virgin Las Vegas workers are sending a strong message that this company needs to do the right thing for their employees and our community. Culinary Union calls on Virgin Las Vegas to stop treating their workers as second-class, respect them, and agree that they are worth more than zero. Every casino on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas has already settled a fair contract and so this company is a total outlier and it’s disrespectful to the workers. We are also advising guests to avoid the Virgin Las Vegas for the duration of this 48-hour strike to not spend any money at an establishment that doesn’t value their workers. No contract? NO PEACE!” The Culinary and Bartenders Unions strike has impacted all major areas of operations at Virgin Las Vegas, including housekeeping, food and beverage departments, and the following unionized restaurants: Casa Calavera, Funny Library Coffee Shop, Juice Bar, The Bar at Commons Club, The Kitchen at Commons Club, and The Shag Room. Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (“Virgin Las Vegas”) is owned by JC Hospitality, LLC, in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, Fengate Asset Management of Toronto, and the LiUNA Pension Fund of Easter and Central Canada. “No one wants to be on strike, but we are on strike today because we are fighting for a better future for ourselves, our families, and our co-workers,” said Aaron Mahan, a food server at Virgin Las Vegas and Culinary Union member. “At negotiations, the company has offered zero in raises and we don’t feel respected. It doesn’t feel good that Virgin Las Vegas has forced us to strike to show that we are serious about not wanting to be treated as second-class. As I’m on strike, I especially think about the great cooks I work with - they don’t make tips like I do and they can’t survive only working one job unless we win raises, so that’s why I’m staying out on strike for the full 48-hours, because one job should be enough!” “I’m on strike because I’m fighting for me, my family, and my co-workers,” said Isabel Gonzalez, a guest room attendant at Virgin Las Vegas and Culinary Union member for 14 years. “I am on strike to win a great wage increases, health care, and job security for my family. My co-workers and I at Virgin Las Vegas are united to win higher wages and to get a contract so that one job should be enough.”

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