May 21, 2016
By John Quinn, LaborPress USA
Las Vegas, Nevada – Union workers from casino company Caesars Entertainment held a national day of action in six cities across the country to challenge executive bonuses that could total up to almost $50 million in 2016 alone and payments to Caesars’ owners, Apollo and TPG.
Throughout the country, UNITE HERE members demanded to meet with property level executives to criticize executive bonuses. Additionally, in Las Vegas at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Culinary Union members challenged the company’s executive bonuses.
Dan Lynch, a bartender at Harrah’s Atlantic City, asked, “Top-rate workers have gotten eighty cents in raises over the last 12 years and you haven’t even met with us yet. Are executive bonuses more important to Caesars than the workers that make the beds and pour the drinks?”
In addition to bonuses, UNITE HERE challenged the company on the $59 million that Caesars paid to its private equity owners Apollo and TPG and their affiliates. Maya Holmes, a UNITE HERE researcher, asked, “$20 million of that were expense reimbursements to Apollo and TPG for ‘financial and strategic advisory services and consulting services.’ What kind of advice did the company get for that $20 million?”
Leain Vashon, a bell captain at the Paris Casino in Las Vegas, said, “When Caesars wants to give almost $50 million in bonuses this year to a small group of mostly executives and offers much less to thousands of its workers, we question what you really value.“
Workers from Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Biloxi, Tunica, Baltimore and Southern Indiana protested the proposed bonuses by sending delegations to Caesars management.
In Baltimore, Elton McQueen participated in a delegation to Horseshoe Baltimore management. Speaking about the action, he said, “We have been negotiating for almost a year and Caesars wants to give themselves bonuses while they haven’t even offered us raises. They promised our city good jobs and this is outrageous.”
*** UNITE HERE is currently negotiating contracts or wage reopeners for approximately 15,000 Caesars workers.