Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Culinary Union Remain at Standoff

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The Culinary Union and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas appear to have reached an impasse in their labor negotiations. It’s unclear if either side will budge based on recent statements.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, pictured above. The company and Culinary Union have yet to agree to a contract for hospitality workers. (Image:

Last week, Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge called the latest offer from management “unacceptable.” But that proposal was what the company called its “last, best and final” offer to hospitality workers.

The two sides have been trying to iron out an agreement for five months. Workers have been without a contract for almost a year.

Not Bargaining in Good Faith

Earlier this month, the company issued a statement that the Culinary Union isn’t negotiating in good faith. The company also filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against the union.

The property’s parent company, JC Hospitality, told the union in a May 21 letter that union officials came up with a “take it or leave it” demand, and they further claim union representatives appear unwilling to meet.

These stances by the union have “made it impossible for us to come to agreement to this point,” according to the letter.

“We believe that your continued insistence that we negotiate against ourselves is unfair. Your failure to bargain in good faith is harming our team members. We want to bring negotiations to a close so that everyone at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas — management and all team members — can focus on our business and our guests.”

In the letter, management also said it modified a wage and benefit proposal for a fourth time. It guarantees benefit contributions for the first three years of the contract, the company said.

For the last two years … we want to provide our team members with the certainty that there will be a wage increase. For that reason, instead of reopening the contract for economic negotiations at that time, as we had offered in our last proposal, we are proposing a definitive $1.00/hr package increase for each of those years,” according to the company letter.

48-Hour Strike

For its part, the union went on strike for 48 hours in the middle of May. Many union members picketed at the property.

Also, Pappageorge has revealed the union’s proposal to increase wages was the same one the union presented to Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International hotels or casinos, as well as the same offered to two dozen other independent Las Vegas properties, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

The union has gotten most of its workers a 10% wage increase in the first year of a contract. Also, the total salary increase over the five-year contract is 32%.

At the end of the day, it’s up to the company,” Pappageorge said in a recent statement. “The idea that we’re asking this company to step up to the same standard that the Rio and the Sahara and the (Strat) have stepped up to months ago — it’s not a high bar.”

“When you come to Vegas, you’ve got to bring money to invest in bricks and mortar, and you’ve got to bring money to invest in workers. And unfortunately, Virgin is not there,” Pappageorge added.

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