Members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 now have new agreements with two of the largest resort companies on the Las Vegas Strip that offer protections for the coronavirus pandemic. More than 36,000 union members at MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Inc., representing 22 hotels and casinos, now have extended health benefits, paid time off for quarantines, and more protections.
The culinary union started negotiating on March 11, just as the coronavirus pandemic threatened to shut down business statewide. The new agreements give culinary union members continued no-monthly premium and full-family health care through the Culinary Health Fund for furloughed workers through March 1, 2021.
Union members who are laid off due to the pandemic can be called back for up to two years, returning to their same jobs with the same seniority rights, as business picks up. Union members also have a chance to work in a different job if there is a shortage of workers.
Culinary union members also received 10 paid days off it a quarantine is initiated by the Southern Nevada Health District or the employer, and do not get attendance points or discipline when they call out sick or quarantine because of COVID-19 symptoms. Union members can also request up to six weeks of unpaid leave.
The culinary union also asked for manager training so they know how to respond to a positive COVID-19 test.
“Behind every worker is a family, and we are proud to have partnered with MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment during this difficult time to ensure workers are protected during this pandemic and are not left behind when the economy recovers,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the secretary-treasurer for the culinary union, says in a press statement. “These new historic agreements mean workers will have their family health benefits in place until next year, even if they are currently laid off, and that workers will be able to return to their jobs as business recovers with full seniority rights.”
The culinary union plans to negotiate these same protections for 24,000 workers who are employed at other casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, including for unionized workers at Station Casinos.