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Culinary union’s agreement with MGM Resorts light on details

Culinary union leaders aren’t making public any details of the tentative agreement they reached with MGM Resorts International.

But they say that the proposed contract “includes groundbreaking language on worker security regarding sexual harassment, workload, technology, and immigration” and that they like the terms of the deal.

They also hinted at raises and provisions for Wi-Fi-enabled safety buttons for workers in close contact with customers in hotel rooms, two key issues discussed by union officials prior to the start of negotiations that began in February.

Ratification votes for the MGM agreement, reached late Saturday, and the Caesars Entertainment Corp. deal, completed early Friday, have yet to be scheduled.

While the likelihood of a strike is greatly reduced with MGM and Caesars deals nearly completed, it’s still possible that union and management negotiators could hit a snag with other properties, including downtown Las Vegas resorts. Union members voted last month to authorize their leadership to call a strike at any time after worker contracts expired Thursday at midnight.

The new five-year contracts cover 24,000 employees at 10 MGM resorts and 12,000 at nine properties at Caesars, well over half of the 50,000 workers whose contracts expired.

“This contract includes the strongest and most comprehensive immigration, sexual harassment and safety language in the history of any union in the United States,” Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary union, said in an email.

“We are proud to protect immigrants who have temporary protected status and Dreamers, require regular multilingual training to ensure workers understand how to report sexual harassment from anyone, including customers, and with the company, are committed to aggressively pursue justice, and equip thousands of workers in the city with Wi-Fi-enabled safety buttons,” she said.

Arguello-Kline said the agreement “has the strongest economic package ever negotiated with the highest wage increases and health care and pension benefits for workers.”

“We worked diligently to craft an agreement that demonstrates our long-term commitment to our employees and their families and allows our company and the unions to continue creating secure jobs and future opportunities in Las Vegas,” MGM Chief Operating Officer Corey Sanders added in the statement issued by the union and MGM.

“We understand that the best service, hospitality and entertainment are provided by people, especially by those who feel valued and respected,” he said.

Union representatives did not indicate which casino groups or properties they would try to meet with next, but in the past, the Culinary has focused on Strip properties. That could include Penn National Gaming Inc., which operates the Tropicana as well as the M Resort, or individual properties SLS Las Vegas and Treasure Island.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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