New anti-union group tells lawmakers of Culinary's "unseemly behavior and shameless tactics"

UPDATE: A second letter has now gone out, with this one carring a "you're with us or against us" message" to state lawmakers. I've attached it here, but this is the essence:

Should you choose not to publicly stand with Nevada job creators and workers against this unsatisfactory comportment, some might interpret that as sympathy for the same union bosses who see nothing wrong with calling tourists “losers,” “beached whales” and “nasty skanks,” among other things.



Lots of highly charged, vitriolic language in this missive sent this week to Nevada lawmakers from this new group:

Dear Nevada Legislator,

On behalf of the Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs (APNJ), I commend you and your colleagues for the work that has been done to revive Nevada’s economy following the Great Recession. As an entity whose mission it is to protect jobs in Nevada and stand up for the workers and small businesses in the state, we especially appreciate your attention to creating an economic environment that provides sustainable good-paying, high- quality American jobs. As such, we continue to be increasingly concerned with the developing situation related to Culinary Union Local 226 contract negotiations in Las Vegas. We understand you received an “update” on the current status of these negotiations on October 2nd from Yvanna Cancela, Political Director attheCulinaryUnion,and are alarmed at the“facts”provided in her correspondence. We hope to set the record straight and shine a light on the unseemly behavior and shameless tactics being utilized by the leadership of the Culinary Union, which includes hurting the very workers they claim to represent and having a negative effect on Las Vegas’ already fragile economy.

While the Culinary Union Local 226 has been in negotiations with major gaming employers since June 1st of this year when contracts expired, labor bosses have been causing problems around the city for the past year, creating an incredibly hostile environment not only for their workers, but for the visitors and businesses who play a primary role in the city’s economic engine. For weeks the local Culinary Union 226 has been holding protests outside of the Cosmopolitan in an attempt to deter tourism and in the process costing the city and state thousands of dollars in revenue. Picketers have booed guests and tourists and hurled obscenities as they walk by the demonstration to patronize the casino. We have attached a short video from this weekend’s protests as an example here and you can also watch Fox 5’s story on this behavior here. Unfortunately, these tactics are consistent with the local union’s other recent stunts, from harassing the customers of nonunion Station Casinos, which the local culinary union has unsuccessfully tried to unionize for years, to blocking Strip traffic – limiting the tourist commerce that supports its members and our economy.

As you are all aware, last week the “More Cops Tax” was brought before the Clark County Commission to ask for a tax increase in order to put more police on the streets. Yet it is protests like these that contribute to the department’s budget troubles as cops are being pulled off the street in order to chaperone Culinary workers so they don’t get out of hand. While we agree that it would be good to have more cops on the streets, we fail to see why taxpayers are stuck with bills totaling thousands of dollars for these protests which seemingly take place each week, while the local Culinary Union 226 has taken in millions of dollars in union dues already this year.

In an even more egregious ploy to upend negotiations and create disorder on the city, the Culinary Union Local 226 spent members’ dues on building and launching “,” a website that warns Las Vegas event planners that “a labor dispute could affect your event.” The website advises planners to add protective language to their contracts with hotels, listing over 35 venues and casinos as either “at-risk,” meaning their labor contracts are set to expire soon or as “active labor disputes,” sites where contract negotiations are ongoing.

It is a scare tactic meant to deter planners from hosting their events and conventions in Las Vegas, driving away millions of dollars in revenue and lost wages. For those who do not heed the travel alert, Culinary Union representatives have taken things a step further by placing phone calls and emailing speakers listed 

in promotional materials for conferences, asking them to boycott events, such as they did with the 2013 National Nurses Health Institute earlier this year. By harassing tourists on the strip and discouraging them from visiting certain hotels and casinos, Culinary Union officials have shown they are not interested in 
protecting their workers or the city of Las Vegas, only in having their unrealistic contract demands being met. 
Recently, Culinary Union officials have intensified the precarious situation by threatening a city-wide strike unless they get their way in contract negotiations. The Associated Press reported on September 16th, “The Culinary Union has issued a written warning to Wall Street investors, saying a citywide strike by Las Vegas 
hotel workers is possible if contracts aren’t inked soon with two major companies. The union, which represents some 50,000 bartenders, maids and food servers, has been in negotiations with gambling giants MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. It says union workers are preparing for a ‘major labor dispute,’ and a strike is imminent unless solid contracts result soon from the negotiations.” You may recall that Las Vegas has enjoyed three peaceful decades since the last city-wide strike occurred in 1984; a 
nine month ordeal that cost workers over $70 million in wages and benefits, yet the union declared it a success. This would be the equivalent of $157 million in 2013 dollars – clearly a lose-lose situation for both 
employees and employers. 
We hope that you would agree these tactics and threats by the Culinary Union Local 226 are not a strategy for recovery and growth. Las Vegas and Culinary Union members are at incredible risk for job loss and economic downturn if union officials continue to threaten a strike. We ask that you help protect Nevada’s 
economy and workers by discouraging a strike and insisting union officials stop sabotaging contract negotiations. 
In addition, we ask that you insist that this radical union leadership cease employing abusive tactics such as targeting brides, trade associations and civic groups from coming to Las Vegas. We all do better when the economy is stronger. 
Thank you in advance for considering our views on this important issue. 
Most Sincerely, 
Dave McGowan 
State Director 
The Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs