April 1, 2024 3 min read

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The Culinary Workers Union Charts Path for Growth in Las Vegas

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 outlined expansion plans, potentially bringing in around 10,000 new members

After successfully concluding 10 months of intense negotiations, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is setting its sights on aggressive growth in the Las Vegas region for 2024. The union has finalized contracts with various hospitality entities, including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts, covering nearly 50,000 non-gaming workers.

New Contracts Propel Expansion and Improved Conditions

One significant provision in these new contracts allows the union to organize nonunion restaurant workers within the properties, a move that has garnered support from many employees eager to improve their working conditions. 

Jose de Jesus Zuniga, a cook at Alexxa’s within Paris Las Vegas, expressed his desire for union representation, citing better wages and improved healthcare benefits as primary motivations, reported The Nevada Independent.

Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, highlighted plans for expansion, particularly targeting establishments such as Alexxa’s, Eataly at Park MGM, and Citizen’s at Mandalay Bay, potentially bringing in around 10,000 new members. 

The union has already secured neutrality agreements with prominent venues like The Venetian, Fontainebleau Las Vegas, Sphere, and Formula One’s Grand Prix Plaza, indicating a significant step towards further growth.

The completion of the 2023 contracts, which saw a remarkable 32% salary increase over five years, marks a milestone for the union. Pappageorge emphasized that these agreements include vital provisions such as workload reductions, enhanced safety measures, and protections against technological advancements that could impact workers’ jobs.

Culinary Workers Forge Ahead Amidst Challenges in Las Vegas

Recent developments also include successful negotiations with previously nonunion giants like The Venetian and Fontainebleau Las Vegas, with agreements paving the way for potential union representation. Notably, The Venetian, historically resistant to unionization efforts, has seen a significant shift following a change in ownership and management.

Moreover, Culinary’s involvement in organizing concessions workers at Allegiant Stadium, backed by the NFL Players Association, underscores its commitment to expanding its influence across various sectors. Despite facing challenges with certain service providers, the union remains steadfast in its efforts to secure fair wages and benefits for all workers.

However, amidst these triumphs, the union continues to grapple with longstanding disputes, notably with Red Rock Resorts and its Station Casinos operating division. The ongoing standoff, now spanning over 25 years, reflects the enduring struggle between management and labor in the region.

As the Culinary Union embarks on its ambitious growth strategy, it not only seeks to improve the lives of thousands of workers but also aims to shape the economic and political landscape of Nevada. 

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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