For immediate release
February 15, 2016
Las Vegas, NV – This month, Democratic and Republican Caucuses will take place in Nevada. The Culinary Union, the largest affiliate of UNITE HERE, and one of the strongest political forces in the state, will be focused on contract negotiations for 48,000 union members, new organizing campaigns for over 8,500 workers, and one of the largest citizenship drives in the country.
The Culinary Union and UNITE HERE, the national hospitality workers union, has not made an endorsement ahead of the presidential caucus. The Culinary Union is instead spending the next six months building internal strength before the general election by committing to registering 12,000 union members to vote and removing barriers for 2,500 workers to become citizens this year.
Over the next few weeks, workers will rally at Sunrise Hospital and intensify voter registration and citizenship drive efforts. Shift workers and the leader of the Culinary Union, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, will be available for interviews in English and Spanish. To attend any of the events below or to schedule interviews, please contact Bethany Khan.
Thursday, February 18 – Rally at Sunrise Hospital
(3186 South Maryland Parkway Las Vegas, NV)
HCA owns three hospitals in Las Vegas: Mountain View, Southern Hills, and Sunrise. Approximately 50% of the Culinary Health Fund’s 145,000 participants go the Sunrise Hospital.
Sunrise Hospital has been taking $64 million out of our community and giving that money to its out-of-state headquarters during a time when the company has been extremely profitable in Nevada.
Sunrise Hospital is currently bargaining with a Health Services Coalition, including the Culinary Union’s Health Fund, and wants to raise rates unfairly. The Culinary Union supports workers right to the highest quality care while protecting the health plan that members have fought so hard to secure.
All Democratic presidential candidates and elected officials from across the state have been invited. A thousand protestors are expected.
Tuesday, February 23 – GOP Caucus
A majority of employees at the Trump Hotel Las Vegas voted to be represented by the Culinary and Bartenders Unions in December 2015.
The Trump Hotel Las Vegas has since filed objections to the vote held by their employees. The Culinary Union calls upon the company to bargain a fair contract immediately.
Employees from the Trump Hotel Las Vegas’ Negotiating Committee are prepared to negotiate a union contract the night of the GOP Caucus with the “Chief Negotiator” and 50% owner of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas – Donald Trump.
Please RSVP to Bethany for access and details.
Thursday, February 25 – Citizenship Project Training Day
(1630 S. Commerce Street Las Vegas, NV)
The Culinary Union will launch one of the largest citizenship drives in the country with a day of training.
Over 300 volunteers, community partner Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, and members will gather at the Culinary Union throughout the day to train and prepare to process 2,500 citizenship applications before May 1.
The first scheduled Citizenship Project Fair is Saturday, March 5.
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent over 57,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 270,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America.
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with over 57,000 members – a diverse membership that is approximately 55% women and 56% Latino. Members – who work as guest room attendants, bartenders, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and kitchen workers – come from 167 countries and speak over 40 different languages. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for working men and women in Nevada for 80 years.
The Culinary Union is encouraging members of the media, political candidates, and caucus participants to avoid staying at/or patronizing hotels under an active labor dispute such as Station Casinos, Palms Casino Resort, and the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. To see the full list properties with an active labor dispute, go to: VegasTravelAlert.org.