Culinary Workers Union

The Culinary Workers Union, UNITE HERE Local 226 is a local union affiliated with UNITE HERE which operates in the Las Vegas metropolitan area of Nevada. At 60,000 members, the Culinary Workers Union has more members than any other union in Nevada, is the largest union local in a right-to-work state and is the largest local in UNITE HERE.[citation needed]

Culinary Workers Union
Full nameCulinary Workers Union, UNITE HERE Local 226
FoundedNovember 1, 1935; 84 years ago (1935-11-01)[1]
Head unionUNITE HERE
AffiliationNevada AFL–CIO
Key peopleGeoconda Arguello Kline, Secretary-Treasurer
Office location1630 S. Commerce Street
Las Vegas, Nevada
CountryUnited States

Members include a variety of occupations organized along craft lines working in restaurants, hotels and laundries, in the casinos in the Las Vegas metropolitan area[2] and Reno, as well as McCarran International Airport and Valley Hospital Medical Center. While most Culinary members work in casinos, the union does not represent dealers and other employees directly providing gaming services.[3] The union also has a partnership with the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, which Hattie Canty, the first African-American woman elected to be president of the Culinary Union, was instrumental in organizing. Local 165 of UNITE HERE represents bartenders in Las Vegas although the two locals negotiate contracts in tandem.


In January 2008, the union endorsed Illinois Senator Barack Obama over New York Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic caucuses.[4]

In February 2016, the union declined to endorse either Clinton or Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during the caucuses, and later endorsed Clinton when she became the Democratic presidential nominee. She lost the general election to Donald Trump on November 8–9, 2016.[5][6]

In December of 2018, Bea Duran, a grievance representative for the Culinary Workers, was appointed to the Nevada State Assembly.[7]

In February 2020, the Union once again declined to endorse a candidate for that year's caucuses.[8] Their decision came after it circulated a flyer among members criticizing Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's support for single-payer healthcare, which it argued would leave members with worse benefits.[9] Some union leaders reported receiving threats after the flyer was published.[10] Despite this warning, a majority of the union's members caucusing in Nevada voted for Sanders.[11]


  1. ^ "History". Culinary Union Local 226.
  2. ^ Underthun, Anders: Homage to Las Vegas, NIBR International: The Hotel Worker Project, 22.02.2010
  3. ^ Website of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 Archived 2008-01-16 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Obama gains key labor backing in Nevada, MSNBC/The Associated Press, January 9, 2008
  5. ^ [1], The New York Times, February 18, 2016
  6. ^ [2], The Hill, February 20, 2016
  7. ^ Jackson, Amanda. "Nevada becomes first state with majority female legislature" December 19, 2018
  8. ^ Bradner, Eric (February 13, 2020). "Nevada's powerful Culinary Union won't endorse in Democratic presidential race". CNN.
  9. ^ Messerly, Megan (February 11, 2020). "In new flyer, Culinary Union warns members Sanders would 'end' their health care if elected president". The Nevada Independent.
  10. ^ "Culinary Union officials face profanity-laced attacks after scorecard says Sanders would 'end' their health care". Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  11. ^ Prakash, Nidhi (February 22, 2020). "Members Of Nevada's Largest Union Defied Their Leadership To Support Bernie Sanders". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved February 24, 2020.

External linksEdit