Statement by Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union regarding protections for union workers:


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Media Contact: 
Bethany Khan ▪ ▪ (702) 387-7088

Statement by Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union regarding protections for union workers:

As the largest organization of women in Nevada, the Culinary Union’s history is one of challenging a discriminatory status quo and demanding equality. For 83 years, over 500,000 women have been protected by comprehensive contract language negotiated by the Culinary Union and rank-and-file majority-women members. As a union of strong women who have never accepted sexual harassment and gender discrimination, we respect the women who come forward to change what should never have been.

Examples of how Culinary Union members are protected:

1. Men and women in union positions are paid the same (while across the United States, women are paid $.79 cents for every dollar a man earns).

2. Workers can have medical leave for up to 6 months.

3. Leave up to 18 months for maternity, placement of child (adoption/foster), and child bonding; being able to return back to work with job, seniority, shift, and wages protected.

4. A voice and choice in uniform in regards to wearing pants or skirts, high-heel size, shoe types, ability to negotiate against skimpy revealing uniforms, diverse range of uniform sizes, and accommodating maternity uniform options.

5. Older women cannot be discriminated against or denied work opportunities and promotions.

6. Workers are protected against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, and when cases arise, there is a clear grievance procedure so that workers have a pathway to justice and with the Culinary Union’s advocacy, win lost wages or brought back to work if unfairly retaliated against/ terminated.

7. Contract language detailing security in regards to employee parking lots being well-lit, patrolled, and maintained.

8. No monthly-premium family health care, with free generic prescription drugs, low copays, and full-coverage benefits including mental health counseling, and drug and alcohol treatment.

Starting in February, contract negotiations for 50,000 workers on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas will begin and we will use this opportunity to negotiate safety buttons for 14,000 guest room attendants, stronger sexual harassment and gender discrimination language, and equal wage increases for all workers across departments.

We are deeply disturbed by these accusations against Steve Wynn and support a full and fair investigation regarding these allegations. 

We do not tolerate the harassment and assault of any women we represent. We urge Culinary Union members from any casino/hotel to come forward and report incidents of harassment and discrimination by calling (702) 385-2131

- Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union



Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 143,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members - a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members - who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers - come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for over 82 years. / @Culinary226

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