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Culinary and soon-to-open Fontainebleau reach union organizing agreement

Fontainebleau won’t oppose the unions’ efforts to organize workers, which allows representatives to be at the properties and discuss reasons to join the unions.
Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz
EconomyGaming
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Operators of the nearly completed Fontainebleau Las Vegas reached an agreement with Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 on a card check neutrality agreement, which allows much of the property’s non-gaming workforce to decide whether they want union representation.

The 3,700-room Strip resort is expected to open in December with 6,500 employees.

The agreement is similar to ones announced in June with the Venetian-Palazzo complex and the $2.3 billion Sphere in Las Vegas, which opens Sept. 29.

“We are pleased that Fontainebleau workers will have the opportunity to decide whether to be union and applaud the company’s decision to respect their employees’ choice,” Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement Friday.

The neutrality agreement means Fontainebleau has decided not to oppose the union's efforts to organize workers, which allows labor representatives to be at the properties and discuss reasons to join the unions. A National Labor Relations Board election is not required but a third party will oversee the card-counting process to ensure a majority vote is reached. If approved, contract negotiations would then take place.

In an email, company representatives confirmed the neutrality agreement.

In July, Miami-based Fontainebleau Development was granted a preliminary finding of suitability by the Nevada Gaming Commission. However, company leadership will still need to appear in front of state gaming regulators one more time for full licensing approval before the opening.

Fontainebleau Development reacquired the 67-story, blue-tinted-glass hotel-casino in partnership with Koch Real Estate Investments in February 2021, 12 years after walking away from the planned $2 billion development in 2009. The project was 75 percent complete at the time, but the company’s financing dried up.

The building sat vacant under two different ownerships until the company headed by Florida real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer bought back the property. Last December, Fontainebleau developers announced they had obtained $2.2 billion in financing to complete the project.

Fontainebleau has begun the hiring process for its workforce.

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