Harrah's, Culinary Union Settle Las Vegas Contract - 8 News NOW

Aaron Drawhorn, Reporter

Harrah's, Culinary Union Settle Las Vegas Contract

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The most important labor union in Southern Nevada may have an agreement for 15,000 of its members.

The Culinary Union and Harrah's have been negotiating since April and finally reached a settlement. However, there's no agreement with MGM-Mirage so far.

Harrah's and the union were burning the midnight oil. They reached a settlement early Friday morning after almost 15 hours of negotiations.

It's been a long process to get to this point. Union members who work for six different Harrah's casinos in Las Vegas have been working on a day-by-day contract extension since their old agreement expired in May.

Workers have been demanding more pay, better benefits, and job security. Their whole premise is the casinos are bringing in the profits, so the workers should be rewarded.

Specific details of this tentative agreement have not been announced.

Here is what is known. This new collective bargaining agreement covers about 15,000 Harrah's workers who are members of the Culinary Union and Bartenders Union Local 165.

Five properties on the Las Vegas Strip are affected plus the Rio.

Union leaders declined to go on camera, but the Culinary Union's secretary-treasurer and lead negotiator issued a statement to Eyewitness News.

D. Taylor says, "We are pleased that the negotiating committee was able to achieve its goal of protecting the Las Vegas dream for workers at the Harrah's properties.

Harrah's was committed to maintaining and strengthening the Las Vegas dream for our members and we hope that others in Nevada will see the example they have set."

That is clearly a message directed to MGM-Mirage where 21,000 workers want a new contract.

The Culinary Union has not gone back to the bargaining table with MGM-Mirage, though they may late next week.

MGM-Mirage employees are expected to meet at the union hall Friday evening to make some signs and head down in unity to the Strip Friday night to say, "Harrah's stepped up to the plate. Now it's your turn MGM-Mirage."

Information about their contract went out to the 15,000 Harrah's workers Friday. They will vote, or ratify, the contract on Saturday, June 16 at Paris.

One vote is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The second vote is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Email your comments to Reporter Aaron Drawhorn.

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