Published 07 Aug, 2012
More than 500 Dealers at Caesars Palace won big as they overwhelmingly voted last week to ratify their first contract securing their wages, benefits and seniority rights.
“Dealers have today achieved the workplace protections and professional standards that that they were looking for when they organized a union in the first place,” said TWU International President James C. Little.
Eighty nine percent of Local 721 members at Caesars Palace voted in favor of ratifying the eight and one-half year agreement. They now join TWU Members at Wynn as the only Dealers in Vegas with negotiated contracts.
Cynthia Falls, a Caesars Palace Dealer for 32 years was there for the count.
“I was elated, it was a triumph to go from at will to protected,” said Falls. “It was a hard road but now we have the ability to say no and have some sort of protection to defend ourselves.”
The contract itself secures their jobs denying the ability for the employer to terminate workers and change working conditions at any time for any reason. It will also ensure maintenance of existing wages and health care benefits, a grievance and arbitration procedure, just cause for termination, and preservation of the dealers right to challenge tip sharing.
Tip-sharing, a prominent issue amongst casino dealers, is also addressed in the contract. In the contract, there are numerous mechanisms implemented to ensure the casino itself would have to show a competitive need for tip sharing and negotiate the specific terms with TWU while preserving the dealers’ right to challenge that policy.
“The last seven years the companies have taken on an adversary relationship with us and it is sad because we are suppose to be a team,” said Ernie Acevado, a Caesars Palace Dealer for the past 20 years who was also on the negotiating committee. “But we took a stand and got union identity and now a contract.”
Acevado also has hope for the future and for others standing up for workers’ rights.
Falls’ shared his sentiment.
“We are so grateful for the TWU for supporting us and all the members across the country who have given us support,” said Falls. “ We look forward to growing and returning that support. We believe in the labor movement and really need to work hard to keep working rights.”