Virgin Las Vegas Casino ON STRIKE! Culinary Union announces 48-hour strike at Virgin Las Vegas beginning Friday, May 10th at 5:00am



Friday, May 10, 2024 at 5:00am pacific 


Bethany Khan: ▪ (702) 387-7088

Virgin Las Vegas Casino ON STRIKE!

Culinary Union announces 48-hour strike at Virgin Las Vegas beginning Friday, May 10th at 5:00am

BROLL from April picket line at Virgin Las Vegas 

Las Vegas, NV -  For the first time in over 22 years, the Culinary Union calls for a 48-hour strike at Virgin Las Vegas beginning Friday, May 10th at 5:00am - Sunday, May 12th at 4:59am. The strike, involving over 700 hospitality workers, marks a historic first for this property as it has never been subject to a Culinary and Bartenders Union strike. Main table negotiations with Virgin Las Vegas are currently scheduled for Tuesday, May 14. 24/7 picket lines around the property will be in place daily Friday at 5:00am-Sunday at 4:59am. During a strike, the Culinary Union urges the community and customers to support workers and to *not* patronize or cross picketing happening on strike lines


*Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for Culinary Union

*Diana Valles, President of the Culinary Union 

*Culinary and Bartenders Union members

*700+ Virgin Las Vegas guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, and kitchen workers

WHAT: Virgin Las Vegas ON STRIKE! 

WHEN:  Friday, May 10th at 5:00am Pacific - Sunday, May 12th at 4:59am Pacific

Culinary Union members from the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas will join the strike line in solidarity to picket on Friday, May 10th and Saturday, May 11th from 10am-12pm and 5pm-7pm. 

WHERE: Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (4455 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89169) 

WHY: The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have called for a strike at Virgin Hotel Las Vegas as workers continue pushing to win a new 5-year union contract. The labor demonstration is a 48-hour labor strike and complete work stoppage by unionized hospitality workers. When there is an active picket line outside of a casino, there is a labor dispute, and so the Culinary Union is already urging customers and community allies to not cross the picket line at the Virgin Las Vegas and will be encouraging visitors to cancel their reservation, check out of the property, and choose a union accommodation.

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions strike will impact all major areas of operations at Virgin Las Vegas, including housekeeping, food and beverage departments, and the following unionized restaurants: Casa Calavera, Funny Library Coffee Shop, Juice Bar, The Bar at Commons Club, The Kitchen at Commons Club, and The Shag Room. 

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (“Virgin Las Vegas”) is owned by JC Hospitality, LLC, in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona, Fengate Asset Management of Toronto, and the LiUNA Pension Fund of Easter and Central Canada. 

Last year, members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions voted to authorize a Citywide Strike after tens of thousands of hospitality workers packed the Thomas and Mack Center in September 2023 to cast their votes. Contracts for over 50,000 workers have since been settled and workers have won the best contract ever. Contract negotiations for one casino property remains: The Virgin Las Vegas contract which expired June 1, 2023, and the extension was terminated. Terms and conditions of an expired collective bargaining agreement largely remain in effect, including wages, benefits, and job security protections, but the no-strike provisions are no longer in effect - which allows workers to go on strike now that a date has been set. 

The most recent Culinary Union strike was in 2002 for 10-days at the Golden Gate in Downtown Las Vegas when workers fought for and won a strong union contract.

The Culinary Union is already prepared for the strike by amassing supplies and materials to maintain 24/7 strike stations with multiple picket lines around Virgin Las Vegas and workers are ready to strike and have signed up for strike pay and picket shifts. For weeks, the Culinary Union has been contacting locals, customers, investors, company board members and partners, regulators, and community allies about the strike risk and labor dispute at Virgin Las Vegas. 

“The contract at Virgin Las Vegas has been expired for nearly a year and even though we’ve been negotiating for over 5 months, there hasn’t been enough movement from the company on fair wage increases. The workers have been patient and have given the company plenty of time, but that time is up,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Workers need a raise and have been clear on what they deserve, but the company has been coming to the table with zeros for wages. That’s why until 4:59am on Mother’s Day, Virgin Las Vegas workers are sending a strong message that this company needs to do the right thing for their employees and our community. Culinary Union calls on Virgin Las Vegas to stop treating their workers as second-class, respect them, and agree that they are worth more than zero. Every casino on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas has already settled a fair contract and so this company is a total outlier and it’s disrespectful to the workers. We are also advising guests to avoid the Virgin Las Vegas for the duration of this 48-hour strike to not spend any money at an establishment that doesn’t value their workers. No contract? NO PEACE!”

“We are fighting for a new union contract that includes better wages, less workload, and for the same rights that every other casino has on the Strip,” said Alan Lopez, a food server at Virgin Las Vegas and Culinary Union member. “We are going on strike at the Virgin Las Vegas to make sure that one job should be enough!” 

“I’m ready to strike because I’m fighting for me, my family, and my co-workers,” said Isabel Gonzalez, a guest room attendant at Virgin Las Vegas and Culinary Union member for 14 years. “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to win a great wage increases, health care, and job security for my family. My co-workers and I atVirgin Las Vegas are united to win higher wages and to get a contract so that one job should be enough.”

COMING TO LAS VEGAS AND PLANNING TO STAY AT VIRGIN LAS VEGAS? Ahead of JA 2024 Golden Ticket Raffle (June 27), SEICon 2024 (July 15-17), Wespay Payments Symposium (September 11-13), 2024 USSSA National Conference (September 29-October 1), RISE Conference (October 21-23), Sin City F&F Halloween Ball (October 26), 2nd Annual Vegas NFR Icons Tribute Luncheon (December 8), 2025 Academic Surgical Congress (February 11-13) and Exchange 2025 (March 23-26), the Culinary Union is asking locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support hospitality workers by not patronizing hotels and casinos during a labor dispute. During a strike, support workers and do *not* patronize or cross picketing happening on strike lines.

In negotiations, the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have been winning historic victories for workers including:

*Securing the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the Culinary Union’s 89-year-history. The total compensation won by the Culinary Union for over 50,000 is approximately $3 billion over the total five-year contract. Every worker will be getting a 10% wage increase in the first year and a total of 32% in raises over the life of the new contract. The average Culinary Union member earned about $28 an hour (including their benefits) under the previous contract, and by the end of this new five-year contract, the average Culinary Union member will be earning about $37 an hour (including their benefits).

*Reducing workload and steep housekeeping room quotas, daily room cleaning, and establishing the right for guest room attendants to securely work in set areas.

*Providing the best on-the-job safety protections for all classifications, including safety committees, expanding the use of safety buttons to more workers, penalties if safety buttons don’t work, enforcing mandatory room checks for employee and public safety, and tracking sexual harassment, assault, and criminal behavior by customers.

*Strengthens existing technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced (which would impact jobs) including technologies with artificial intelligence, increases service recognition pay and extended health care and pension fund contributions for workers who are laid off because of new technology, requires training for new jobs created by technology, introduces the right to bargain over technology that tracks the location of employees, requires notification and opportunity to bargain regarding data sharing, and establishes right to compensation for tipped employees if necessary infrastructure for technology fails resulting in a tipped employee who is unable to do their job.

*Extending recall rights so that workers have more job security and have the right to return to their jobs in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis for up to three-years.

*Making clear at MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment properties that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union and its members from taking action, including picketing and leafleting in support of non-union restaurants at the Casinos; and allows non-union restaurant workers to leaflet in front of their venues inside the casino. At Wynn Resorts, making clear that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union from taking action, including strikes, against non-union restaurants on the casino property, and gives casino workers the right to respect picket lines.  

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is the largest labor union in Nevada, and alongside the Bartenders Union Local 165, represents 60,000 guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry, and kitchen workers statewide. 


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 60% 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 89 years. / @Culinary226 


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