LAS VEGAS (AP)
A union representing hotel and restaurant workers ratified a five-year contract with its biggest employer, MGM Mirage Inc., ending five months of talks with a deal that appears to meet most of the union’s public demands.
The contract approved Friday by members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 covers 21,000 housekeepers, servers, bartenders and cooks in MGM Mirage’s 10 Las Vegas hotel-casinos, including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage.
Rank-and-file union members overwhelmingly approved the new deal, said Pilar Wayne, a union spokeswoman.
The union and MGM spent most of the summer in a stalemate, in part over whether the union would be able to continue to organize under the same rules in future joint venture developments as it does in current MGM Mirage properties. It currently enjoys a “card check neutrality” that makes it easier for service workers to organize, something affirmed in the new contract for all future joint ventures, company and union officials said.
The language was critical to the union, given MGM Mirage’s pattern of expansion through partnerships. The most recent was a deal announced Wednesday that gives Dubai World, a holding company for the Persian Gulf state, a 50 percent stake in a $7.4 billion project under construction on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Las Vegas is going through another huge building boom and we are happy to have reached a settlement that makes sure that the employees are a key part of that growth,” Culinary Secretary-Treasurer D. Taylor said in the statement.
The contract also includes a cumulative wage and benefit increase of $3.47 (�2.55), as well as maintenance of the health insurance plan and contributions to the pension fund.
“These agreements reflect the same long-held support for our employees that MGM Mirage has demonstrated for many years,” said Cynthia Kiser Murphey, senior vice president of human resources for MGM Mirage. “We will continue to create enormous opportunities for our employees to grow and thrive in this amazing community.”