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Las Vegas hotel union plans strike vote

By Hannah Dreier

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:28 a.m. HST, Mar 18, 2014

LAS VEGAS >>  Las Vegas hotel workers are weighing whether to authorize union leaders to call a strike at nearly all downtown casinos and several independent Strip properties.

The Culinary Union has been negotiating with 12 independent hotel-casinos since contracts expired last summer. The sites employ about 10,000 union workers.

In February, members voted to end a contract extension that had been put in place in June, meaning workers can now strike and picket outside workplaces. The union previously approved a dues increase to create a financial cushion in case a walkout occurs.

The Culinary Union is the largest union in Nevada. It plans to hold a strike authorization vote on March 27. However, the vote has been postponed twice.

The downtown casinos involved in the negotiations are the D, Four Queens, Las Vegas Club, Plaza, Fremont, Golden Nugget, Golden Gate, Binion's, Main Street Station and El Cortez. Other casinos without new contracts are the LVH, formerly the Las Vegas Hilton, and Margaritaville.

Several casino companies have already settled, including MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp., which together control a majority of properties on the Strip. Four independent casinos -- Stratosphere, Riviera, Tropicana, and Treasure Island -- have also settled.

The new contracts preserve health benefits and add new measures to protect housekeepers from hazardous work conditions. The deals also aim to bring back workers laid off when restaurants closed during the recession -- in part by letting casinos pay new hires less in those venues.

The contracts cover all aspects of the casinos, including the food and beverage, housekeeping, cocktails, and bell departments.

The Culinary Union has seen rapid growth, defying nationwide trends for organized labor. Las Vegas has not seen a strike since 1991, when workers picketed the Frontier casino for more than six years.

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serious wrote:
Horrible for Hawaii. They will not be able to contribute that $1,000,000,000 to Las Vegas each year. Now isn't that down right stupid that our state does not have gambling---but just look at those Google statistics--if we only had a tenth of that kept locally--and why don't we have legalized gambling? Now, the money is going out of State--right???
on March 18,2014 | 09:44AM
localguy wrote:
Legalized gambling in Hawaii? Are you kidding me. Our dysfunctional bureaucrats willfully fail to manage our budget year after year with no success. They raid funds like Tobacco to cover their failure to balance a budget, something they just can't do. And what do you think they would do with gambling money? Bribery, kickbacks, corruption, would be far worse than we have now. Your taxes would still be going up. Gambling money is not the Holy Grail of state finances, never was, never will be.
on March 18,2014 | 08:09PM
lokela wrote:
Alright folks what's the odds of the union striking?
on March 18,2014 | 09:49AM
false wrote:
Wonder what the sports book is giving?
on March 18,2014 | 02:20PM
gth wrote:
It's not only gambling we go to Vegas. It's just to get away from the islands. Do you think Hawaii casinos/hotels will offer what Vegas offers (cheap hotel rooms, meals, 1st class shows, shopping, etc.). I would really want to visit the outer-islands, but its much cheaper for me and my family to go to Vegas.
on March 18,2014 | 03:03PM
localguy wrote:
Exactly. No way can the Nei ever compete in the same areas with Las Vegas. The price of paradise.
on March 18,2014 | 08:12PM
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