Nevada Culinary Workers Union has mastered political organizing

Nevada Culinary Workers Union has mastered political organizing

I was in Las Vegas this past November when Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members voted to approve a record-setting contract agreement with the world’s three largest casino companies: Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, and MGM Resorts International. The agreement included multiple wins for the employees, such as the largest pay increase in the union’s 88-year history, a reduction in workload, and guaranteed job security. 

The deal was so significant that Vice President Kamala Harris flew in to celebrate with the workers on their new contract.

“I think that it’s not only going to be about what you’ve done for your own members. You guys are setting a new standard for workers across the board,” Harris said.

President Joe Biden, who made history last September as the first sitting president to actively join a picket line, met with the union members on the eve of Nevada’s primary.  

Ted Pappageorge, the union’s chief negotiator, told me he appreciated the support.

“Biden-Harris is the most pro-union presidency of my lifetime, and I’m 63 years old!” he exclaimed.

The Biden-Harris administration has been extremely involved in advancing union causes, but that’s not the only reason they paid homage to Culinary’s victory.

The Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas has already been called the “most successful private-sector union in America” by The New Republic, and rightfully so. Yet despite being extremely effective in organizing for better working conditions, they are arguably the most effective political organization in the nation.

RELATED STORY: Microsoft and Starbucks have now pledged to stay neutral in union organizing campaigns

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