June 16, 2016

The Palms Casino in Las Vegas, owned by private equity firms TPG and Leonard Green & Partners, has announced a pending sale but without a commitment to ensure all workers’ jobs are secure.

Members of the Las Vegas religious community organization Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) addressed a letter to TPG and Leonard Green, as well as Palms management and the buyer calling for a commitment by all to worker retention.

The letter lists specific concerns about the buyer, Red Rock Resorts (formerly Station Casinos) regarding employees.

We are worried given the track record of Station Casinos, whose executives (who are still with the company) had made the following statements in the past:

  • ‘When we entered into the agreement [to buy the Fiesta], we said we would buy all the assets. Employees are not assets.’ (‘Fiesta layoffs: Station calls layoff notices necessary,’ Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sept. 9, 2000)
  • ‘We believe in America all people have choices. We believe if you invest $185 million in an asset [the Fiesta], you have the right to choose those people you want to have in those properties.’ (‘Station Casinos’ hiring policies rapped,’ Las Vegas Sun, Dec. 13, 2000)”

Given those concerns, CLUE members wrote:

“We beseech the seller to make and the buyer to accept a binding commitment to retain the workers of the Palms Casino Resort, including those in subcontracted venues, when the casino changes hands and ensure the workers will not have to reapply for their jobs and their years of service will be counted by the new owner. These are loyal, hard-working employees who have dedicated years of their lives to ensuring the success of the Palms Casino Resort and they will continue to do so in the future.”

The letter notes that in other instances of ownership transitions in Las Vegas, workers have been retained:

“When Caesars Entertainment, another TPG joint-venture, outsourced the jobs of guest room attendants and porters at the LINQ Hotel & Casino, those workers kept their jobs with the new company. When the Blackstone Group took over the Cosmopolitan in 2014, the private equity company retained the existing workers. In neither case did workers have to reapply for jobs many had been doing for years.

Workers were also retained when Harrah’s purchased The Rio in 1998, Station Casinos purchased The Reserve (renamed Fiesta Henderson) in 2010, Boyd purchased the Coast properties in 2004, Harrah’s purchased Imperial Palace in 2005, the Aladdin was sold and became Planet Hollywood in 2007, and Station Casinos LLC acquired the properties of Station Casinos, Inc. in bankruptcy reorganization in 2011.”

The full text of the letter is available here.

Signatories to the letter are:

Rev. Michael J. Engfer
All Saints Episcopal Church

Fr. Arsolin Almodiel, Jr.
All Saints Episcopal Church

Rev. Catarina Chinn
Amistad Cristiana

Pastor Joel H. Menchaca
Amistad Cristiana

Elder Ender Hope Austin, III
Bethesda Church of God in Christ

Pastor Daryl Harris
Bethesda Church of God in Christ

Pastor Samuel Carroll
Calvary Baptist Church

Pastor Johnny B. Shin
El Shaddai Outreach Ministries, COGIC International

The Rt. Rev. Dan T. Edwards, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Nevada

Rev. Leonard B. Jackson
First African Methodist Episcopal Church

Dr. Sylvester S. Rogers
The Greater Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Cynthia Pitts
Holy Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church

Pastor Carlos A. Hernandez
Iglesia CREE

Elder Charles L. Seals
Life of the Valley Ministries

Rev. Isaac A. Green, Jr.
Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church

Pastor Kathryn A. Obenour
Mary Magdalene Friends, United Church of Christ

Pastor Mary Russo-Marx
Mary Magdalene Friends, United Church of Christ

Imam Fateen Seifullah
Masjid As-Sabur

Imam Hanafi Shakur
Masjid As-Sabur

Imam Faruq R. Dowdell
Masjid As-Sabur

Sister Talibah Abdul-Wahid
Masjid As-Sabur

Imam Mustafa Yunus Richards
Masjid As-Sabur

Mr. Ahmad Ade
Masjid As-Sabur

Mr. Jihad N. YaSin
Masjid As-Sabur

Imam Mustafa Ibn Majon
Masjid Ibrahim

Mr. Aslam Abdullah
Masjid Ibrahim

Supt. Bill McDonnell
Wealthy Place Ministries

Pastor Hilda Espadas
Ministerio Internacional Evangelistico Siquem

Pastor Kelcey A. West
Nehemiah Ministries

Bishop Tyrone L. Seals
New Birth Church, Las Vegas

Pastor Donald McLeod
New Life Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Pastor Johnny A. Gilmore
New Shiloh Baptist Church

Pastor Willie R. Cherry
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

Rev. Fouston Jordan, Sr.
Rivers of Living Water Ministries

Rev. Alexander Gasonera
Shalom Free Methodist Church

Fr. Antonio Lopez
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

Rev. Carol Walton
St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church

Pastor Willie Jacobs, Jr.
True Love Missionary Baptist Church