A New Deal for Caesars, Culinary

Employees of Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas were nearly unanimous in their approval of a five-year contract negotiated by the powerful Culinary Union. Raises will kick in next year.

Similar plan at MGM keeps worker health plans

Approximately 13,000 employees of Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas have approved a new five-year contract negotiated by the Culinary Workers Local 226. Only the now-closed Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and the Quad were not covered by the new deal, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Caesars said 97 percent of the employees approved the agreement.

“Through negotiations, Caesars and the unions have worked together to reach an agreement that gives workers the opportunity to provide for their families,” Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline said in a statement. “The overwhelming support for the new contract shows members want a secure future with good jobs and strong benefits.”

Caesars Entertainment spokesman Gary Thompson said the agreements “benefit all parties, and will enable us to work together to provide expanded job opportunities as Las Vegas continues to recover from the long recession.”

In November 2013, 21,000 MGM workers also approved a new five-year agreement. MGM’s contract did not call for pay raises in the short term, but added an extra 35 cents to the benefit package for 2014, and 50-cent and 55-cent increases in 2015 and 2016.

That package lets workers keep their existing health care coverage and other benefits. The contract will be revisited in the fourth and fifth years, when additional benefit increases will be on the table.