In a powerful show of international solidarity, Las Vegas-based Culinary Workers Union Local 226, part of UNI affiliate UNITE HERE, is calling on the top leadership of Chilean gaming multinational Dreams, S.A., to stop union busting at its Fiesta Casino in Peru. The Las Vegas union also makes clear that similar anti-worker behaviour is not acceptable in the United States, where Dreams hopes to expand.
The letter, from Culinary Local 226’s President Diana Valles—who is also President of Gaming for UNI Americas—and its Secretary Treasurer Ted Pappageorge, comes after Dreams management in Peru fired the leadership of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de Entretenimiento, Casinos y Afines (SUTECA) the day after it registered for recognition with the government.
The Culinary leaders write:
We express our solidarity with the leaders and members of SUTECA. Please investigate the reports that new union officers and members were fired by the casino after the union filed its formative documents with the Peruvian Ministry of Labour on July 19, 2022, and ensure that Fiesta Casino reinstate immediately any workers fired for union activity. We also ask you to let Dreams employees at your several properties in Peru know they may join SUTECA without risk of intimidation or retaliation.
UNITE HERE is the largest hospitality and gaming union in the United States, and Culinary Local 226 is a powerhouse, who has helped workers win high standards through 90 per cent representation of the Las Vegas gaming industry.
The union hopes of resolving the unjust firing of union leaders in Peru can be the beginning of a productive relationship in the United States as well, saying:
We understand that [Dreams Chairman of the Board] has long sought to enter the casino industry in the U.S. and has been approved to purchase a 10-acre parcel on the Las Vegas Strip. We also understand you are planning to develop a major resort on that parcel. We look forward to meeting with you soon to discuss how your new project here can provide good union jobs and other important benefits to the Las Vegas community. These would be issues of great interest to the Clark County Commissioners, who have zoning and planning jurisdiction over the Strip, and the gaming licensing regulators of the State of Nevada as well. We do hope our discussion can begin with news regarding Dreams’ commitment to positive labour relations at its properties in Peru and elsewhere.
In recent days, the minister of labour of Peru has also come out in support of SUTECA members.
“We are energized by this solidarity in our fight for justice at Fiesta, and we feel stronger knowing that UNITE HERE has our backs. We simply want what the members of Culinary Local 226 have—a wage with dignity, a voice at work and the protections of collective bargaining,” said Silvia Choqque, a Fiesta worker. “Together, we will keep fighting until we win that.”