Culinary Union picketed Valley Hospital as workers push for a new contract



Thursday, August 18, 2022


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Culinary Union picketed Valley Hospital as workers push for a new contract

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Congressman Steven Horsford, and Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom joined in support

PHOTOS: Picket at Valley Hospital

Las Vegas, NV -  On Thursday, August 17, 2022, hundreds of Culinary Union members picketed Valley Hospital as essential workers push for a new union contract. Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Congressman Steven Horsford, Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, and Cisco Aguilar (candidate for Secretary of State) also joined the picket line to meet with Valley Hospital workers and lend their support. Pictures from the picket are available online here

"Nevada workers deserve to be treated with dignity, and I'm proud to stand with Culinary Union to call for a new contract for workers at Valley Hospital,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. “There are thousands of working families across our state who depend on the fair pay and protections that our unions have fought for, and I'll always have their back."

Culinary Union represents approximately 90 housekeeping, cooks, cashiers, kitchen workers, and stewards at Valley Hospital. 

“Valley Hospital is union busting and is trying to take away good Culinary Union health care and pension from workers. Valley Hospital employees are essential workers who haven’t had a contractural raise in 5 years and they deserve one,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Workers are fighting to keep their Culinary Union benefits, pension, health care, and job security.”

“Our contract at Valley Hospital expired at the end of 2016 we feel undervalued by the company who is firing loyal workers and making the rest of us who remain do all the extra work of 2-3 people,” said Alberto Ayala, cafeteria worker at Valley Hospital for 7 years. “How Valley Hospital treats their employees makes me sick to my stomach. I picketed for our rights because we deserve fair pay, equal treatment, and appreciation. We work hard and take care of everyone in the hospital: The patients, nurses, and doctors. We haven’t gotten a raise in years and we have the risk of our union health insurance and union pension being taken away by the company. Not having a contract has been a horrible experience for me. I am 26-years-old and I’m still living with my parent because I cannot afford to move out and I feel insecure at work everyday. We want a contract!” 

“I picked yesterday to show Las Vegas that Valley Hospital is treating us unfairly and that’s not right! We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” Brenda Reyes, cafeteria worker at Valley Hospital for 5 years. “I have a 7-year-old son who has a speech delay and I work hard to provide for him, but it’s hard when we haven’t gotten a raise in years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, while most other hospitals were giving their essential workers bonuses and raises, Valley Hospital proposed lowering our pay! Not having a contract means putting things on hold. I can’t buy a home or get a car because I don’t know what is going to happen and everything at work is insecure. Valley Hospital, this needs to be resolved and stop union busting - it’s disgusting!”

Since the contract has expired, Valley Hospital has fired 4 Culinary Union members who were leaders in their workplaces, including most recently, Betty Williams, a committee leader and 40-year Culinary Union member. The company also decided to suspend the Culinary Union organizer from the property and interfere with the Culinary Union’s right to access of workers and the unionized workplace.

Since 2017, Valley Hospital has made $1.5 billion in revenue and sent over $100 million to its out-of-state corporate office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. In the same time period, Valley Hospital has given its housekeeping and dietary workers $0 in contractual raises. Valley Hospital’s national company, Universal Health Services (UHS), paid its CEO a total of $97 million from 2017 through 2021.


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 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 300,000 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 Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project.  

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership which is 55% women and 45% immigrants. The demographics of Culinary Union members are approximately: 54% Latinx, 18% white, 15% Asian, 12% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples. 

Culinary Union members work as: Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting and winning for working families in Nevada for 87 years. / @Culinary226 


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