The Culinary Union, currently in a contract dispute with Nevada casino operator Station Casinos, is publicly asking artists to cease association with the casino operator.
On Thursday, the Culinary Union issued a statement asking several artists, including Joseph Albers and Damien Hirst, to stop working with Lorenzo Fertitta, one of the controlling owners of Station Casinos.
Culinary Union not backing down
In a statement, Bethany Khan, spokeswoman for the Culinary Union, said:
“Artists should not allow their work to lend respectability to a company whose labor practices are anything but respectable. Art should not be used by the rich and powerful to paper over injustice. We ask the artists featured on the Lonian Gallery website to ask Lorenzo Fertitta to take their artwork off that website.”
Other artists include:
- Nobuyoshi Araki
- Takashi Murakami
- Richard Prince
- The estates of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Contract dispute dates back to January
The contract dispute stems from an unfair labor practice complaint brought by the federal government for allegedly using the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine unions representing or seeking to represent its employees.
Red Rock Resorts owns the casino chain Station Casinos in Las Vegas.
In January, the Culinary Union consisting of Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165, and affiliates of UNITE HERE said negotiations were active and ongoing.
In a news release, Local 266 released a list of proposals, including:
- Implement enhanced benefits to union and non-union workers alike — Station Casinos has currently promised enhanced benefits to only non-union employees. (The company has not agreed.)
- Priority hiring and severance benefits for workers if any more Station Casinos properties are to be closed or sold. (The company has not agreed.)
- Include Culinary Academy of Las Vegas training opportunities for Station Casinos workers so they can move up in their careers. (The company has not agreed.)
- Protect Station Casinos workers with the standard union job security package covering 60,000 Culinary Union hospitality workers in Nevada. (The company has not agreed.)
- Agree on a first-time union contract that includes all of the above and many more protections for Station Casinos workers. (The company has not agreed.)