The Culinary Union strikes again. More than 1,000 workers of this Las Vegas union are currently picketing outside the Palms Casino. Owners of the Palms are refusing to bargain with the group, despite workers here voting to unionize.
This is perhaps the most aggressive move that the union has taken against the Palms. Today, we’re taking a quick look at the contentious history between the Culinary Union and this casino’s owners. Let’s get into it!
Culinary Union’s Battle with Station Casinos
The Culinary Workers Union was founded all the way back in 1938. The Nevada-based union has expanded over the years, and today has more than 60,000 members. It’s made up of mostly casino workers, yet does not represent dealers and others directly involved with gaming.
Over the years, the Culinary Union has made its way across Las Vegas casinos. Station Casinos, a major Vegas-based hotel and casino company, has been one of the few to restrict the Culinary Union into its casinos. Back in mid-2016, Station Casinos decided to purchase the Palms Casino Resort for $313 million.
In May of 2019, the government began putting pressure on Station Casinos to begin talks with the union. The National Labor Relations Board in Washington DC issued a statement that it finds Station Casinos is unlawfully refusing to bargain with the Culinary Union.
Earlier this month, workers at the Sunset Station Hotel & Casino held a secret ballot election to unionize. Now, workers at the Las Vegas Palms are calling for unionization, as well. Will Station Casinos work to stop this?
Workers Now Picketing Outside the Las Vegas Palms
There are more than 1,000 members of the Culinary Union are now picketing outside the Palms. This is happening a little later than expected. In April of 2018, workers at this casino-resort voted to unionize.
As you might expect, Station Casinos challenged this results of this election. The National Labor Relations Board demanded this company begin bargaining with the workers. It appears these negotiations have not taken place.
A number of workers here are pushing hard for the Las Vegas Palms to unionize. José Luis Cuevas, a porter inside the Palms, believes that with a union, workers will be better protected.
“The most important, we need job security for our families, our kids,” he said. “Right now, they can kick you out any time.”
This company has been battling with the Culinary Union for years. With more than a thousand picketers and mounting pressure from the NLRB, Station Casinos may have no choice but to cave in.
Eldorado-Caesars Merger May Affect Culinary Union
Earlier this week, we reported on the news that Eldorado Resorts purchased Caesars Entertainment for more than $17 billion. This merger makes the newly-named Caesars one of the most powerful gambling companies in the United States. A number of Culinary Union officials worry this new merge will impact their workers.
Caesars projects more than $500 million in savings during their first year of the merge. The Culinary Union wants to ensure these savings don’t come in the form of job loss. D. Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE (parent company of the Culinary Union) commented on these proposed savings.
“Where are they going to cut?” He said. “We will not stand by idly if the proposed Caesars-Eldorado transaction will lead to significant job losses, worse wages and benefits for our members, and lower state gaming tax receipts in the many communities where members we represent work and live.”
The Las Vegas Palms is being targeted now. It seems likely that this Vegas Casino-Resort will be forced to give an official statement. Stay tuned for updates on the situation as they come out!