Culinary Union voting on future of contract extensions

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Culinary Union voting on future of contract extensions

By Bryan Callahan. CREATED Feb 20, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Culinary Union members are casting ballots to decide the future of contract extensions with more than a dozen casinos.

This is part of the ongoing contract process between the Culinary Workers Union and most of the major casinos here in town.

If the union does vote to end these extensions, picketers could be out in front of many downtown casinos in about two weeks.

"The extensions were courtesies given to give the contracts more time to be talked about.  We've given those enough, and we need to stop the extensions," Jeff Wise said.

That is what members of the Culinary Workers Union's negotiating committee gathered to decide Tuesday.

The union has been operating under contract extensions with most casinos since June.

Recently they settled on long term contracts with MGM and Caesars. They have not reached agreements with most of the downtown casinos, T.I., The Strat and the Riviera.

"Unfortunately the casinos think because we are in extensions they give you more to do. we are already up to the wall," Josefina Martinez said.

If the union does decide to end the contract extensions and begin picketing, Casino Center and Fremont could be the center of action because all four casinos here have unsettled contracts with the union.

"We are hoping not to go to the striking for the pickets, but we will be there to do whatever we need to make sure they have what we have," Wise said.

If the union decides to end the contract extensions, they are required to give the casinos 14 days notice before terminating the agreement.

That would then allow the employees to picket as they have for months in front of the cosmopolitan or even strike if they want to.

Even if they do take that route union representatives say they would continue negotiations on a long term contract, and say employees would continue their work.

"We have to do what we have to do.  There is no question about it," Martinez said.

Action News reached out to most of the casinos working under the contract extensions Tuesday.

Treasure Island did not have anyone available to discuss the contract extension.

A Stratosphere spokesperson said they will not be making any statements while they remain in good faith negotiations.

Bryan Callahan

Bryan Callahan

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Bryan Callahan joined the Action News team as a general assignment reporter in August of 2013.