May 19, 2016

The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, owned by private equity firms TPG and Leonard Green & Partners, is set to be sold to Red Rock Resorts (aka Station Casinos) during the third quarter of 2016.

Workers’ jobs are not protected, as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal, “There was no indication whether Palms employees would have to reapply for jobs when the transaction closes.”

Workers at the Palms have been seeking a fair process to choose whether to unionize for nearly a year. TPG, Leonard Green Partners, and Palms local management have not agreed to honor the workers’ ongoing calls for a fair process.

“If TPG and Leonard Green appreciate the work we’ve done to save the Palms and turn things around since 2011, they should make sure that we (Palms employees) – including those subcontracted out to Sodexo – are not out of a job when they leave and Station Casinos takes over,” said Jose Luis Cuevas, a porter at the Palms.

Cuevas continued, “We want to see a clear, written commitment from these big companies that workers will get to keep our jobs when the sale goes through.”

The Palms sale was announced the same day a private equity industry group, the Private Equity Growth Capital Council, rebranded itself the American Investment Council, citing an “expanded mission” to “advance access to capital, job creation, retirement security, innovation, and economic growth in the United States by promoting responsible long-term investment.”

The Palms has faced charges of violating labor law, and has entered into two settlements with the National Labor Relations Board over allegations of threats, surveillance and interrogation.

Las Vegas casinos typically retain hourly workers in the event of a change in ownership even when there is not a union agreement. For example, workers were retained without being required to reapply 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;
  • Station Casinos LLC acquired the properties of Station Casinos, Inc. in bankruptcy reorganization in 2011;
  • Blackstone bought the Cosmopolitan in 2014.

In a press release, the Las Vegas Culinary Union said:

“Organizing freely without management interference is the standard for Las Vegas casinos,” said Jose Salguero, a porter at the Palms. “We deserve to have a fair process to decide for ourselves like tens of thousands of workers have done on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas.”

On the Las Vegas Strip, the following properties near and around the Palms have respected their workers’ decision to organize through a fair process: Stratosphere, SLS, Hilton Grand Vacations, Circus Circus, Encore, Wynn, Treasure Island, Mirage, Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Linq, Flamingo, Cromwell, Bellagio, Bally’s, Rio, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Vdara, Cosmopolitan, Aria, Signature, Monte Carlos, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Tropicana, Delano, and Mandalay Bay.

There is a labor dispute at the following Station Casinos properties: Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Boulder Station, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Palace Station, Texas Station, Fiesta Rancho, and Fiesta Henderson.