Culinary Union to picket Valley Hospital and workers will participate in a civil disobedience



Friday, May 19, 2023 at 5:30pm 


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088

Culinary Union to picket Valley Hospital and workers will participate in a civil disobedience

As negotiations continue to progress, a 1-month strike deadline extension has been set for June 19, 2023

Las Vegas, NV -  Culinary Union members employed at Valley Hospital in the Las Vegas Medical District have voted to extend the strike deadline for one month to Monday, June 19, 2023. Tomorrow, workers will picket Valley Hospital on Friday, May 19, 2023 at 5:30pm and participate in a civil disobedience. 

In negotiations, the company has proposed to agreed to health care and pension benefits, but there are still significant obstacles to a contract settlement, especially Valley Hospital’s insistence on being able to subcontract out union jobs without limitations and being able to replace union workers with temporary workers over time.

The Culinary Union calls on the Las Vegas community to stand in solidarity with Valley Hospital workers by taking your health care dollars and business out of a union-busting hospital. If you have an upcoming appointment at Valley Hospital, cancel your appointment and reschedule it with UMC Hospital or other health care providers. Call Valley Hospital to cancel: (702) 388-4000 and UMC to schedule: (702) 383-2000.

Hundreds of Culinary Union members recently picketed outside of the Valley Hospital on April 24, 2023. Video BROLL is available here.


*Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for Culinary Union

*Diana Valles, President of the Culinary Union 

*Valley Hospital housekeeping, cooks, cashiers, kitchen workers, and stewards

*Culinary Union members

WHAT: Valley Hospital picket and civil disobedience 

WHEN: Friday May 19, 2023

*5:30pm: Culinary Union members from the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas to join Valley Hospital workers on the picket line.

*6:00pm: Civil disobedience in front of Valley Hospital - Culinary Union members will be participating in a non-violent form of protest action. The civil disobedience will take place on the streets in front of Valley Hospital at Shadow Lane and Pinto Lane.

*6:30pm: Picketing ends for the day.

WHERE: Valley Hospital (620 Shadow Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89106) 


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

“Valley Hospital is union busting and is proposing to eliminate jobs and bring in unlimited subcontracted workers - we do not agree to unlimited subcontracting. Valley Hospital employees have been unionized for over 40 years and they are essential workers who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Valley Hospital workers are fighting to keep their Culinary Union benefits, pension, health care, job security, and to protect their good union jobs.”

“I’m fighting for my future and my family’s wellbeing,” said Karen Espinoza, a cook at Valley Hospital for 4 years. “I feel very unappreciated by the company - it’s been seven years since we had a raise and the cost of living has gone up, but our wages haven’t. My coworkers and I are united to show that Valley Hospital is UNFAIR. We aren’t going to give up until we win a strong union contract.” 

“I’m fighting to keep my good union benefits, win better wages, and job security,” said Brandy McMorris, a pantry worker at Valley Hospital for 16 years. “I see the company trying to eliminate jobs and that’s not right. Valley Hospital needs to do the right thing and agree to a good union contract. I ask the community to support us." 

“This contract fight for me is about fairness,” said Terry Jackson, a EVS tech worker at Valley Hospital for 39 years. “We are overworked, underpaid, and disrespected. We haven’t had a proper raise in years and this injustice has gone on for too long. We work so hard at Valley Hospital and it’s unfair how they are treating us. I work on the Operating Room - sometimes there are 30 cases in a day, and there are just two of EVS tech workers to turn over all those rooms, clean, and often we don’t have time to take a break. I have less than two years till I’m eligible for retirement and I am fighting for my coworkers and I to have a good union job. Valley Hospital, no contract? No peace!”

“I want to let Las Vegas know that Valley Hospital is treating us unfairly! We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Brenda Reyes, cafeteria worker at Valley Hospital for 6 years. “I have a 8-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. 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. Agree a contract and stop union busting - it’s disgusting!”

“I am fighting for my family and my sons to have a better future,” said Charlotte Beverlin, a house cook at Valley Hospital for 10 years. “I am proud to make sure everyone from doctors, nurses, patients, and visitors are fed and taken care of, but what about me and my coworkers? We worked so hard during the pandemic, but now it feels like the company thinks we aren’t essential or important. They treat us like second-class, which isn’t right. My coworkers and I are worthy of better and we are going to fight for what we deserve.” 

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

Facts about Valley Hospital: 

Since 2017, Valley Hospital has made $1.7 billion in revenue and sent $113 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 top 5 executives a total of $86 million from 2020 to 2022.

Valley Hospital in Las Vegas is one of the five acute care hospitals operated by UHS in Southern Nevada. Nevada is one of the company’s largest markets, contributing 17% of net revenues and 18% of net income (excluding a one-time provision) in 2022, according to UHS 10-K.

Valley Hospital’s dietary workers and housekeeping workers have not had a raise since January 1, 2016. They did not receive any bonus or hazard pay while they worked on the frontline through the COVID-19 pandemic. At the negotiation table, Valley Hospital initially proposed an up-to-$3 per hour wage cut but has since proposed more wage increases. However, the hospital has also proposed to strip these workers of job security protections against subcontracting. 

Valley Hospital’s union-busting actions have led to 32 currently open unfair labor charges against the employer by the Culinary Union at the National Labor Relations Board. 

Valley Health System and its parent company Universal Health Services (UHS) has had other significant issues in the past several years:

 *In July 2020, UHS and a subsidiary agreed to pay a combined $122 million to resolve “alleged violations of the False Claims Act for billing for medically unnecessary inpatient behavioral health services, failing to provide adequate and appropriate services, and paying illegal inducements to federal healthcare beneficiaries.” UHS also “entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), which will remain in effect for five years.” 

*In July 2022, U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Ron Wyden launched an investigation into “abuse at facilities that house children with special needs and mental health issues as well as children from the foster care and juvenile justice systems.” UHS was one of the four companies that received a letter from the Senators requesting information about their residential treatment facilities. The Senators have not yet released the results of their investigation. 

*On November 18, 2023, a News 3 camera captured certain footage at Valley Hospital. As described by News 3 in a follow-up report: “Security officers from Valley Hospital, a for-profit hospital, were recorded taking a woman with a walker across the street and leaving her lying on the sidewalk alone outside University Medical Center, a nonprofit, public hospital. The officers walk away back to the Valley Hospital as UMC staff come to her moments later.” Valley Hospital denied it engaged in patient dumping.

*On January 8, 2023, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the family of a former patient of Centennial Hills Hospital filed a lawsuit alleging the hospital unsafely discharged her, causing her death. The RJ article included a statement from the hospital’s attorney that the hospital “intends to defend itself vigorously in this matter.”

*Valley Hospital is one of five acute-care hospitals of Valley Health System, whose board of governors includes local business leaders and doctors: Hannah Brown of Hanna Brown Community Development Corporation, Rita Vaswani of Nevada State Bank, Rossi Ralenkotter, former CEO of Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Sig Rogich of the Rogich Communications Group, Tom Warden of the Howard Hughes Corporation, Valerie Murzl, a former executive of Station Casinos, Dr. Don Reisch, Dr. Dost Wattoo, Dr. Keith Brill, Dr. Leslie Jacobs, Dr. Linday Hansen, Dr. Ralph Vennart, and Dr. Steven Kramer.

*From 2016 to 2022, over 7 years, UHS hospitals in Las Vegas sent over 845 million in “home office allocation” to corporate headquarters in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. From 2016 to 2022, CEO Marc D. Miller and CFO Steve G. Filton received total compensation of $43,491,495 and $21,308,500, respectively, from UHS. Retired CEO and current Executive Chairman Alan B. Miller received total compensation of $123,142,071 from UHS over the same 7-year period.

*In 2022, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. renamed a theater of the Kimmel Cultural Campus “Miller Theater” “in honor of a significant philanthropic gift” from Alan B. Miller. Alan B. Miller Hall at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary was dedicated in October 2009 and also named after the former CEO of UHS. Other than Alan B. Miller and Marc D. Miller, the UHS Board of Directors consists of: Nina Chen, a consultant to The Welcoming Center in Philadelphia; Eileen C. McDonnell, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company; Warren J. Nimetz, a parter at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP; Maria Singer, COO, Corporate Finance, at investment bank Houlihan Lokey; and Elliot J. Sussman, MD, Chairman of the Villages Health in Florida.


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 88 years. / @Culinary226 


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