News for the Hospitality Executive
UNITE HERE and Affiliates Claim a $80 million Strike Fund
Available to Support a Potential Strike
of More than 13,000 Casino and Laundry Workers in Las Vegas and Reno
|LAS VEGAS, Sept. 4, 2007 - The Culinary Workers Union
Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165 and their international parent union,
UNITE HERE, announced today that through a combination of the local and
international strike funds and a line of credit, they will have more than
$80 million available to support the potential strike of more than 13,000
casino and laundry workers in Las Vegas and Reno.
"Of course no one wants a strike," explained D. Taylor, Culinary Union
Secretary-Treasurer, "Unfortunately, some casino owners have made it clear
that if we want to keep the Las Vegas Dream alive, we are going to have
to fight for it. So we are letting the community and our members know that
we are prepared to do what it takes to protect the standard our members
have spent decades fighting for."
The locals have about $10 million in their strike fund; UNITE HERE, the international union of which the Culinary and Bartenders are affiliates, will make a pledge of $20 million in support from its strike fund; and the union has also secured a credit facility from the Amalgamated Bank that will be made available through October of 2008.
"A union is only as strong as its members, and our members in Nevada have shown their strength and commitment to the Las Vegas Dream through many negotiations and actions this year," explained John Wilhelm, President/Hospitality Industries, UNITE HERE. "It is important for them to know that they have the support of their international union brothers and sisters, and that is what this pledge is all about. Our entire organization is coming together to support this struggle, because we all share the dream of good jobs and healthy families."
The strike fund will be bolstered by a credit facility of more than $50 million secured by union assets and provided by the Amalgamated Bank. Amalgamated Bank is owned by UNITE HERE.
"The Amalgamated Bank was founded by immigrant union members who needed banking services when no one else would have them as customers," explained Bruce Raynor, Chairman of the Amalgamated Bank and General President of UNITE HERE. "The bank is first and foremost a fiscally sound financial institution, but the bank is also committed to the ideals of its founders and its history of service. For a bank like ours, there is no higher calling than supporting workers on strike."
Established in 1923, Amalgamated Bank has distinguished itself as the bank for unions, members and working people. The institution, which is a FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.5 billion in assets, provides a full-range of banking services to middle-market businesses, health care facilities, real estate developers and small businesses as well as financial and trust services to labor organizations, the public sector and corporations. The retail banking division has 10 branches in New York City as well as one branch in each of the following locations: New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and southern California. The Bank will open three, retail branches in Las Vegas later this year.
UNITE HERE is a union representing 450,000 members across North America in the laundry, food service, apparel and textile, and hotel industries.
Properties facing a strike authorization vote:
|Also See:||Despite Personal Plea and Apology from Steve Wynn, Casino Dealers at Wynn Las Vegas Vote by a 3-1 Margin in Favor of Union Representation / May 2007|