Culinary Union Strikes Deal with MLB A’s in Anticipation of Las Vegas Move

The Culinary Union’s Local 226 chapter in Las Vegas says it has reached an agreement with Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland A’s that would potentially allow stadium workers to organize.

Culinary Union Oakland A's MLB Las Vegas Tropicana
An aerial view of the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip shows the Tropicana complex in the bottom left corner. The MLB Oakland A’s have agreed with the Culinary Union to allow stadium workers to consider joining the union should a new ballpark be built where the Tropicana casino currently stands. (Image: Getty)

A’s ownership seems intent on relocating from San Francisco’s Bay Area to Southern Nevada. It would mark the second major professional sports franchise to skip Oakland for Sin City after the NFL Oakland Raiders became the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.

The influential Culinary Union represents about 60,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno. The trade group’s members work in a variety of casino resort positions, including guestroom attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, and bartenders. Culinary does not represent workers primarily engaged in gaming functions, such as table game dealers and slot machine mechanics.

Culinary leaders said the A’s last week agreed to allow the team’s Nevada workforce to determine whether they wish to unionize should a ballpark be built there and the team relocates to Las Vegas.

The Culinary Union and the A’s have reached an agreement that will guarantee workers have the right to organize and negotiate union contracts — which will guarantee these will be great jobs that meet our high Las Vegas standards,” Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge told Casino.org.

“We hope there will be a path forward for all stakeholders so the Las Vegas A’s can join the Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders to continue this transformation as Las Vegas, the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World,’ also becomes the ‘Sporting Capital of the World,’” Pappageorge added.

Stadium Proposal

The A’s want to follow the Raiders’ lead in relocating to Las Vegas where local and state leaders are seemingly more open to the idea of providing public funds for a new ballpark. But there are many local residents who aren’t thrilled about Clark County again funding a stadium venue for an organization controlled by a billionaire.

The Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium was partially funded with $750 million in public financing. The funds were raised by increasing the nightly hotel occupancy tax for stays in Clark County by 0.88%.

The A’s initially targeted a 49-acre site located at Tropicana Blvd. and Dean Martin Drive for the team’s Las Vegas home. Red Rock Resorts had agreed to sell the land to the A’s, and the team said the project would be a go if Clark County would agree to provide $500 million in tax credits for the development.

But following local opposition about such public funding, the A’s scrapped that plan and entered into an agreement with Bally’s Corp. to demolish the Tropicana and construct an MLB facility on the southern Strip property. The proposal reduces the amount of requested public funding assistance to $395 million.

Right to Assembly

The Culinary Union’s agreement with the A’s states that the team will not stand in the way of workers when they consider organizing and joining the Local 226 chapter. Previously, union leaders scolded the A’s for refusing to agree to such a pact.

The A’s now pledge to be neutral in whether stadium workers are unionized or not. Workers at Allegiant Stadium, as well as at T-Mobile Arena where the Golden Knights play, are part of the Culinary Union.

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