Golden Gate only downtown casino facing Sunday walkout

The Golden Gate remained the only downtown Las Vegas casino facing a strike this morning after four properties agreed to tentative five-year agreements with two unions Saturday.

The casino could see 85 restaurant workers, hotel housekeepers, cocktail servers, bartenders and other union members walking a picket line at 5 a.m. if negotiations Saturday with Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 are unsuccessful.

Derek Stevens is majority owner of the Golden Gate. Stevens’ D Las Vegas reached agreement on a new contract Friday.

Four other hotels — Plaza, Las Vegas Club, Four Queens and Binion’s — reached tentative agreements Saturday on new five-year union contracts.

“All of our team members are a priority for us and we are satisfied to reach a resolution,” said Michael Pergolini, General Manager for PlayLV Gaming which operates the Plaza and Las Vegas Club. “With this behind us we can turn our full attention back to economic re-growth to ensure everyone’s future success, and taking care of our guests and patrons.”

The latest settlements, which still need to be ratified by employees before they can go into effect, follow agreements set by earlier deals with other downtown casinos, including the Golden Nugget, Fremont, Main Street Station, El Cortez and The D.

The details of those agreements, such as cost-of-living increases and other language, have not been disclosed by the unions. The settlements with the downtown casinos are retroactive to June 1, 2013.

The Four Queens and Binion’s are controlled by TLC Casino Enterprises, which is owned by businessman Terry Caudill.

“Union contracts are a great benefit for the entire community,” Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline said in a statement. “The workers at Four Queens and Binion’s can be confident that their jobs will continue to be good jobs.”

Negotiations between the hotels and the unions took place Saturday.

If there is a strike, Culinary and Bartender members will carry picket signs in front of each entrance of the Golden Gate, including entrances along the Fremont Street Experience. The striking workers are expected to be joined on the picket lines by workers from properties that have contracts.

Culinary and Bartenders union contracts covering 40,000 workers citywide expired a year ago. At the same time, Culinary members voted to approve a 60 percent increase in dues to create a fund that would support workers during a strike.

The unions settled the contracts with the largest companies, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp., that covered 20 Strip resorts.

In February, Culinary members voted to end contract extensions in place with unsettled Strip and downtown resorts, setting the stage for a potential strike. Several independent Strip properties settled with the unions, leaving downtown casinos alone at the negotiating table.

The last time a hotel workers strike took place in Las Vegas was in 2002 at the Golden Gate. The walkout lasted nine days. The unions held a citywide strike against the hotel industry, including casinos on the Strip, in 1984.

A Culinary strike against the since-demolished Frontier on the Strip lasted six years, four months and 10 days and ended in 1998 with the sale of the hotel-casino.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at or 702-477-3871. Find him on Twitter: @howardstutz.

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