Membership Pressures Owners to Keep Promises Amidst Possible Sale of Property
On Thursday, August 17, Teamsters Local 986 held an informational picket at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas to put pressure on the ownership of the hotel to retain its workforce if the property is sold. They were joined in solidarity by Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D - Nev.), Local 986 President Sean Harren, members of Teamster Locals 14 and 631, UFCW Local No. 711 and UNITE HERE Culinary Workers Union Local 226.
“It is standard practice in the Las Vegas gaming industry for workers to keep their jobs without loss of seniority or benefits when their casino is sold,” said Chris Griswold, Secretary-Treasurer for Local 986. “Worker retention should be part of the condition of sale of the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas. Teamsters Local 986 will do everything we can to support these workers in their fight for job security and respect and dignity on the job.”
Las Vegas casinos typically retain the bulk of hourly workers in the event of a proprietary transfer, even at hotels and casinos without collective bargaining agreements. Workers at the Palms, the Cosmopolitan, the Cannery and Aliante have all been retained without being required to reapply for their jobs even though all of those properties have gone through ownership changes within the last four years.
Valet attendants at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas voted in a National Labor Board Relations (NLRB) election in 2009 to join the Teamsters Local 986, and they are currently in negotiations with the hotel for a first contract. The successful campaign at the Hard Rock was part of a massive organizing drive on behalf of Local 986 to unionize valet and parking attendants at hotels and casinos throughout Las Vegas.
Kevin Murray is a valet attendant at the Hard Rock Hotel who attended the informational picket on Thursday.
“We are worried about what might happen to us if our hotel is sold,” Murray said. “I have a large family that I provide for and I want to make sure that my job is safe. The owner, Brookfield, should make sure that whoever buys the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas is committed to retaining the current workforce.”