On May 19, the latest Las Vegas labor deal was struck between Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165 and the Palms Casino Resort. The new three-year deal will cover approximately 900 employees across different sectors of the property.
The new contract, which is said to improve wages, health benefits and more, was ratified by the Palms’ workers on May 23 by a 95 percent majority.
According to the union, the contract contains “standard union language on worker security regarding subcontracting, safety buttons, sexual harassment, workload, technology, and immigration,” and will apply to room attendants, servers, bartenders, cooks, bellmen, stewards and more.
“We celebrate this historic agreement with Palms, which protects workers with the best health care in Nevada, strong job security, and fair wage increases,” Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for Culinary, said in a statement.
“The San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority and Palms Casino Resort have done the right thing by respecting their employees and recalling workers back to work with their seniority intact. The Culinary Union is proud to have reached an agreement for a strong union contract at Palms, which protects workers with the union standard we have fought to build and strengthen over 88 years. Congratulations to the workers on your new union contract and welcome to the union family!”
The property first opened in November 2001, and changed hands several times before it was purchased by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in May 2021 for $650 million. San Manuel then became the first tribal operator to own and operate a property in Las Vegas.
San Manuel and the Culinary and Bartenders unions first came to an initial agreement in February 2022, and the tribe was able to fill out its staff relatively quickly by recalling workers who were laid off during Covid closures and utilizing Culinary’s Culinary Academy of Las Vegas program.
Of course, as with anything Culinary-related, this also inevitably ties back to the union’s longtime feud with Station Casinos.
Station owned the Palms from 2016 to 2021, and even though 84 percent of Palms workers voted in favor of unionization in April 2018, the company never acknowledged those desires, which resulted in numerous complaints to the National Labor Relations Board. Those claims and others are still being litigated.
In its release, Culinary was sure to mention this fact, and didn’t miss the chance to praise San Manuel while calling Station “the worst labor law violator in the history of the Nevada gaming industry.”