Culinary Union Triumphs Despite Anti-Union Efforts at Circus Circus Reno, Votes Against Decertification

Eldorado Resorts—owners of the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, Eldorado Resort Casino, and Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, together known as “The Row”—spent much of 2018 pressuring members of Culinary Union Local 226 to decertify the union at Circus Circus, where their contracts expired at the end of November last year. Negotiations had been ongoing since August with little progress, and as they deteriorated, the company’s egregious anti-labor practices sent union leaders to the National Labor Board to file charges.

Ultimately, the NLB ruled that an election on decertification could proceed. The election was held in mid-January, and despite the resort company’s efforts, which were at times vicious, to sway members to decertify—or terminate—the union at Circus Circus, a majority of Culinary Union Local 226 members voted to keep their union.

Now members leaders are fighting for a good contract.

“We call on Circus Circus Reno to negotiate in good faith immediately, and bargain a good contract with wage increases, reduced benefit costs, and job security,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union.

Selene Aguirre, a cook at Circus Circus in Reno, says the company needs to stop union-busting and get to the table to negotiate a fair contract now. “I voted YES for the Culinary Union out of respect for me and my family,” she said.

Mike Pilcher, president of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council, says he’s pleased with the outcome but wasn’t surprised that Culinary members voted to keep their union despite widespread union-busting at Circus Circus.

"It is no secret that communities work best when people work together,” Pilcher said. “Unions have been a strong and long-standing example of what people can achieve when they work in unison to ensure workplace safety, fairness, involvement, and community prosperity. I am thrilled that our Northern Nevada community has stood behind the Culinary workers at Circus Circus.  When working class families have good pay and benefits, local economies thrive. "