Culinary Union Ends 48-hour Strike of Virgin Las Vegas Hoping to Get Better Work Conditions

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May 18th, 2024
Back Culinary Union Ends 48-hour Strike of Virgin Las Vegas Hoping to Get Better Work Conditions

Aiming to secure another 5-year contract at Virgin Las Vegas, 700+ hospitality workers gathered in the Culinary and Bartenders Unions went on a 48-hour strike from May 10, at 5 AM till May 12 at 5 AM. Described as historic, the strike aimed to push the company to start respecting its employees by providing them better working conditions and higher wages by securing a new 5-year union contract.

Founded in 1938, the Culinary Union gathers workers of various profiles, including guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry, and kitchen workers. Members of the union come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages, making it a large international community.

Representing one of the largest healthcare consumers in Nevada, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 represent 60,000 workers statewide.

Large Impact on Multiple Areas of Operations

During the 48-hour strike, the first of a kind in over two decades, numerous crucial operations at Virgin Las Vegas were affected.

Housekeeping aside, the following restaurants were impacted Casa Calavera, Funny Library Coffee Shop, Juice Bar, The Bar at Commons Club, The Kitchen at Commons Club, and The Shag Room, as well as many other food and beverage departments. In addition to this, Virgin Las Vegas was not accepting bookings for hotel rooms via its website for the two days of the strike, May 10-11.

Although the most massive so far, this event is not the first of a kind aiming to address all the issues hospitality workers are struggling with. Last year, contracts for over 50,000 workers have since been settled following a Citywide Strike.

Numerous Historic Victories Won

Although going on the strike was “scary at first”, as some workers said, they feel that they have done something extremely important not only for themselves but for their colleagues and families as well.

Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union commented as follows:

“I’m so proud of the workers who came out on strike and held the line. With this 48-hour strike, Virgin Las Vegas workers sent a strong message that this company needs to do the right thing for their employees and our community.”

One of the most notable victories of the strike includes securing the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Culinary Union’s history. According to the previous contract, the average union member earned approximately $27 (benefits included), but the new contract should bring earnings of around $37 an hour.

Other victories include reduced workload and more reasonable daily quotas, better protection, and higher safety, which includes expanded use of safety buttons and mandatory room checks. Furthermore, they demanded the right to return to the job in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis, and extended health care and pension fund contributions for workers who are laid off because of new technology.

On top of everything, workers wanted to make it clear that no-strike clauses at MGM Resorts Ceasars Entertainment Properties and Wynn Resorts don’t prevent the Culinary Union from taking action.

Source:

“Culinary Union concludes historic 48-hour strike of Virgin Las Vegas”, culinaryunion226.org, May 13, 2024.

“push the company to start respecting its employees”

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