Culinary union members vote to end contract extension

Members of Culinary Workers Local 226 voted Thursday to end contract extensions for several downtown and independent Strip casinos.

The union, which represents housekeepers and other hotel workers, is negotiating contracts that cover about 10,000 Las Vegas workers.

Contracts expired last June. Without the extension in place, workers would have the right to picket, boycott, and strike.

An overwhelming majority of workers voted to end the contract extensions, according to Culinary spokeswoman Yvanna Cancela.

The move could be viewed as a negotiations tactic. Members of the Culinary and its affiliated Bartenders Local 165 have picketed against the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas since last year. The casino and the unions have yet to reach agreement on a contract covering the resort’s non-gaming workers.

Cancela said union members from casinos that reached agreements on new contracts also voted overwhelmingly to support ending the contract extensions.

The 17 casinos still in negotiations include the Golden Nugget, the D Las Vegas, Tropicana and the Stratosphere. The union recently agreed on new contracts with roughly 20 properties operated by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Contracts covering Wynn Las Vegas and Encore don’t expire until 2015. Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s two Strip resorts, Venetian and Palazzo, do not have contracts with the Culinary union.

The last citywide strike by hotel workers in Las Vegas took place in 1984.