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700 Culinary union workers at Strat reach deal

Updated January 25, 2024 - 9:45 am

Culinary Local 226 members at two independently operated properties reached tentative agreements with employers, the union announced said Wednesday.

The hospitality union representing about 700 employees at The Strat negotiated a five-year deal with improvements on wages, work quotas, protections from technology and more. Their tentative deal was reached on Tuesday night.

“I’m so excited, we finally get the contract and what we want,” Adalila Vargas, a 23-year worker at The Strat, said.

Golden Entertainment, operators of the 2,400-room resort, said it was satisfied with the agreement.

“We are pleased to provide our team members with wage increases that reflect their contribution to our past success and importance to our future,” Charles Protell, Golden Entertainment’s president and chief financial officer, said in a statement.

And 500 workers at Hilton Grand Vacations achieved a deal with their employer on Wednesday afternoon, the union said.

Negotiations are ongoing at 16 remaining independent Strip and downtown operators.

More than 1,000 Culinary employees at Westgate agreed to a tentative five-year contract on Saturday, and workers at Trump International agreed to a deal on Jan. 18.

The union set a strike deadline of 5 a.m. Feb. 2. About 5,200 workers remain threatening to strike. All downtown operators and six independent operators on or near the Strip remain in negotiations.

Workers at the Strip’s three largest employers — MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Caesars Entertainment — ratified new contracts in November. They included raises that reached a cumulative 32 percent over the five years, mandated daily room cleaning, severance pay for layoffs due to technology, workplace safety measures and other benefits.

Union negotiators have previously said they’ll seek similar benefits and protections from other operators.

Culinary said it’s expected to negotiate with the following hotels in the next week:

Jan. 24: Hilton Grand Vacations, Golden Nugget, Plaza.

Jan. 25: Circus Circus (Reno), Fremont/Main Street Station.

Jan. 26: Circus Circus (Las Vegas), Rio, El Cortez.

Jan. 30: Treasure Island.

The union is planning an “informational picket” in front of three downtown Las Vegas properties, Circa, Golden Gate and Fremont hotel-casinos, on Friday.

A previous version of this story misspelled Charles Protell’s name.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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