Palms workers petition to keep jobs; new owner says they will

An exterior view of the Palms on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012.

Hundreds of Palms employees have signed a petition to retain their jobs, seniority and benefits when Station Casinos takes over the resort, the Culinary Union said today.

The union alleged in a statement that Station had not offered a “written and binding commitment” of job security to Palms workers — including those in the buffet, coffee shop, main kitchen and bakery who work for the food service company Sodexo. The petition was delivered to current Palms management on Monday, according to the union.

But Station spokeswoman Lori Nelson said that, within hours of announcing its purchase of the Palms more than two months ago, Station told resort employees in person that they would keep their jobs, seniority and benefits.

Nelson said Station reiterated that promise to employees in a letter the general manager of the Palms began distributing Wednesday.

“In that letter, similar to our in-person meetings, we reconfirmed our commitment that hourly team members will not have to reapply for their jobs,” Nelson said. “They will retain their original hire date and seniority date, wage rate, title and job.”

The union wants that promise to extend to Sodexo employees. Nelson said Station had not addressed third-party operators and was focused instead on those employed directly by the Palms.

Station parent Red Rock Resorts Inc. said in May that it was buying the Palms for $312.5 million from current owners TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners. The deal still requires regulatory approval and is expected to close later this year.

The Culinary has been trying to organize at the Palms since last year and has long fought with Station over its attempts to unionize workers at the company’s locals-oriented Southern Nevada casino empire.

The union said it was also delivering the petition to Station, the Nevada Gaming Commission and Gov. Brian Sandoval. The petition was signed by a majority of Palms workers who are in the Culinary, Bartenders and Teamsters unions’ bargaining unit, according to the Culinary.