The history of Culinary Workers Local 226 in Las Vegas, told through photographs, video interviews and other memorabilia, was the subject of a recent exhibition—“Line in the Sand: The People, Power and Progress of the Culinary Union”—at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Now the union has donated a treasure trove of thousands of historical photos, film negatives and slides to the UNLV University Libraries.
On the day that a strike was set to begin at Las Vegas casinos, unions representing the workers reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract June 1, meaning that 44,000 workers on the Las Vegas Strip and in downtown Las Vegas won't have to worry about taking care of their families. In a press release, the Culinary Workers said the new contract would protect health benefits and pensions and improve working conditions.
In our regular weekly feature, we'll be taking a look at the winners and losers of the week in the struggle for the rights of working families. The winners will be the persons or organizations that go above and beyond to expand or protect the rights of working families, while the losers will be whoever went above and beyond to limit or deny those rights.
The members of Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 (both UNITE HERE locals) voted Tuesday to ratify a five-year contract with Caesars Entertainment covering the 13,000 members of both locals. The deal, which replaces the previous contract that expired in June, was approved by 97% of the voters.
Some 6,000 hotel workers and community supporters rallied Friday in front of The Cosmopolitan hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Members of Culinary Workers Union/UNITE HERE Local 226 picketed to support Cosmopolitan workers who have been trying to negotiate a contract with their employer for more than two years, since they first voted to join the union.
Yvanna Cancela, an organizer for Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Las Vegas, is being honored by the White House today for her work with immigrants, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Cancela is the only union organizer to be named one of 11 honorees of this year's César Chávez Champions of Change awards, named after the United Farm Worker leader. She is being honored for her work in organizing Nevada residents in favor of creating an immigration process that includes a road map to citizenship.
Nearly 100 workers were arrested Wednesday night in Las Vegas as they engaged in civil disobedience to protest the Cosmopolitan casino's refusal to agree to a fair contract with its workers. As reported Wednesday, members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 blocked the street on the Las Vegas Strip, leading to 98 arrests.
On Wednesday night, members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 will engage in the first act of civil disobedience on the Las Vegas strip by union members in more than 20 years in solidarity with workers from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas casino. The workers have been negotiating a contract with the casino owner, Deutsche Bank, for more than two years and they contend that the owner refuses to agree on measures that are standard in other major casino contracts on the strip. Workers plan to engage in action by blocking traffic. Contracts for workers on the Strip will expire June 1.
The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a partnership among the Culinary Workers Union/UNITE HERE Local 226, Bartenders Union/UNITE HERE Local 165 and 26 properties on the Las Vegas Strip, teaches students everything they need to know to get a position with good wages and benefits in the hospitality industry. The vocational classes, which range from two weeks to three months, kick off with a half-day class, which teaches students interview techniques and how to be gainfully employed on the Strip. In addition to training 35,000 workers since its inception in 1993, it also serves nearly 900 hot meals daily to disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans in the surrounding neighborhood. This video highlights how students trained in this program will find promising careers.
Geoconda Arguello-Kline, a former housekeeper and Nicaraguan refugee, today was named secretary-treasurer of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 of UNITE HERE in Las Vegas. Arguello-Kline is the first Latina leader of the union and will represent 60,000 hotel and restaurant workers.