Las Vegas: Culinary Union holds protest at Station Casinos headquarters over stalled union contract

On Thursday, hundreds of picketers from the Culinary union, partners from the Nevada AFL-CIO, and current and former Station Casinos employees protested outside of the company’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

The picketers held large signs that called the operator of Red Rock Resort, Palace Station and other properties “unfair,” reports Las Vegas Review-Journal. The public push by Culinary Local 226 was meant to bring attention to its long-stalled effort toward having a first-time union contract for the casino company’s employees.

Since 2016, the union has sought to have representation votes at multiple Station properties. In April 2022, a judge from the National Labor Relations Board directed Red Rock Resorts, the parent organization of Station Casinos, to enter into negotiations with the Culinary and Bartenders unions.

According to the union, negotiations are ongoing at properties where Station Casinos has recognized its bargaining obligations. But the goal of Thursday’s picket was to draw attention to the company’s lack of “good faith” bargaining, Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said as reported by the Review-Journal.

“It’s really a shame that this company claims to be a beneficial part of this community to take on its own workers like this,” he added. “We would say that they should sit down and negotiate a fair contract and allow these workers to have job security and the same standard set the rest of the workers in this town have.”

Union members say they want hiring priority for the workers who were laid off when Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson permanently closed.

While the company has said about a third of those employees were retained at other Station locations, and that it held job fairs for the remaining former employees who wanted to return, the Culinary union argues some workers were passed over in favor of new candidates.

Other demands from the union include offering union and nonunion workers the same benefits, training opportunities through the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, and a job security package that’s in line with other Culinary union members across the Las Vegas Valley.

For its part, Station Casinos said it has been supportive of its employees, including paying its workers during the pandemic-fueled closure. 

Red Rock Resorts spokesman Michael Britt pointed to its benefits package, which includes free family health insurance for workers that make less than $100,000 and access to free medical and planned dental centers. “Some of those benefits cannot be extended to union-represented employees without going through the bargaining process,” Britt said, according to the above-mentioned media.

“The Culinary Union’s longstanding attempts to harass, intimidate and bully Station Casinos, its team members, and its business partners and associates will not succeed,” Britt said in an emailed statement. “The union is rapidly losing support and it is because of the following facts.”

Union leaders said they were prepared to continue their pressure campaign, noting their calls for more attention on the issue during the Nevada Gaming Control Board meetings and at city and county board meetings across the valley.