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US – Culinary Union members vote to ratify union contracts for 40,000 MGM, Caesars and Wynn workers

By - 28 November 2023

After seven months of intense negotiations, and under the looming threat of the largest hospitality worker strike in US history, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have settled contracts for 40,000 unionized hospitality workers in Las Vegas.

As Nevada’s largest union celebrates its 88-year-anniversary of fighting and winning for working families in Nevada, the Culinary Union is pleased to announce that all three contract ratification votes were overwhelmingly successful as workers voted to accept the best contract ever won in nearly 9 decades. 

Active negotiations for 10,000 hospitality workers are on-going between the Culinary and Bartenders Unions and 24 Strip Independent and Downtown Las Vegas casino resorts for a new five year contract.

Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union, said: “These were tough negotiations and it took 7 months of hard work, committee meetings, sleepless nights, and worker-led organizing. No victory in our union’s history is ever guaranteed and thousands of workers who participated in rallies, protests, civil disobedience, picketing, surveys, picket sign making, strike voting, and delegations inside the properties sacrificed to win a better future for themselves and our families. Culinary Union members comprise a majority of Nevada’s middle-class and in these negotiations, we proudly won our fair share of record profits by securing billions for working families in Nevada.”

“The Culinary Union has won the best contracts ever in its 88-year history. The total compensation won by the Culinary Union for workers employed at MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts casino properties is approximately $2 billion over the total five year contract – that’s $2 billion which will stay in Las Vegas and will benefit every community and neighborhood. 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) and we recognize the largest private employers in Nevada for doing the right thing and investing in the frontline workers who make the entire industry run successfully.”

“My co-workers and I stood together to win a historic union contract and we did it! This contract fight was about our families in Las Vegas, our future, and making sure that one job is really enough,” said Mary Check, a cashier at the Caesars Entertainment’s Paris Casino and Culinary Union member and shop steward for 24 years. “I’m so proud of what we were able to win – it’s really amazing. It’s a blessing that we got this contract after seven months of negotiations. We stood together and stood strong. We didn’t give up or give in. We fought for our fair share and we won the right to have one job that is enough to support our families and keep the best benefits ever. This new contract gives so many working families in Nevada a better life. I’m so grateful for my Culinary Union – together we can do it and we did it!”

“This is an awesome contract! After 7 months of negotiating and fighting hard, we won the best contract ever,” said Elena Newman, a guest room attendant at MGM Resorts International’s Mandalay Bay and Culinary Union member and shop steward for 20 years. “I’m really excited that we won daily room cleaning, a reduction in our housekeeping workload, expanded technology and safety protections at work, and the highest best raises ever. It’s nice to know that when I work hard that I will be fairly compensated, have a guaranteed 40-hour full time job, and protected our pension and health care benefits. I voted yes for the best contract that we’ve ever had so that we could be secure for the next five years. This contract is a major victory for working families and I feel amazing that we won.” 

“This contract is incredible and I’m so happy that we won,” said Kimberly Doppler, a cocktail waitress at Wynn Resorts and Culinary Union member and shop steward for 18 years. “I’m so proud of all my co-workers who stepped up to stand together. Front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house. Tipped and non-tipped. We all stuck together and we got this incredible contract. We worked really hard to win this new contract and we got amazing language that helps us provide for our families, protects our jobs and health care benefits, and we won historic wage increases that we have never seen before. I’m so proud to vote yes on this contract! YES WE DID!” 

In negotiations, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have won historic wins for workers including:

*Winning the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the history of the Culinary Union. 

*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.

*Strengthening existing technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced which would impact jobs, require training for new jobs created by technology, health care and severance pay for workers who are laid off because of new technology, the right to privacy from tracking technology introduced by companies, notice of third-party data sharing workers have generated through their work, and the right to bargain over technology that tracks the location of employees or messaging between workers.

*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

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