Culinary Union and UNITE HERE Calling for Boycott of Rampart Casino Due to Problems with License

Home » Culinary Union and UNITE HERE Calling for Boycott of Rampart Casino Due to Problems with License

On Thursday, March 18, 2024, the Culinary Union and UNITE HERE called for a boycott and invited visitors not to patronize the Rampart Casino at the Resort at Summerlin in Nevada. The main reason for the boycott is a labor dispute that currently exists between the owner of the casino, the Lalji family, and the workers at its Sheraton Vancouver Airport hotel.

Problems with the Lalji family:

The Vancouver property is owned by Larco Hospitality, the Lalji family’s company. The Union’s Secretary-treasurer, Ted Pappageorge, said: “For decades the Culinary Union has fought and won higher standards in the Las Vegas hospitality industry, from the Las Vegas Strip to Downtown to the locals market and our International Union of guest room attendants, cocktail servers, restaurant workers, bartenders, laundry and food service workers has a long history of protecting and advancing these standards through organizing, bargaining, strikes, and boycotts. We are concerned that a Lalji family business is engaged in a labor dispute in Vancouver totally at odds with these standards, and we fully support the strikers of UNITE HERE Local 40.” 

One of the questions the union has for the Nevada Gaming Control Board is why Shirazalli Jafferali Lalji has been the owner of Rampart’s license, since he died back in 2020. He was also listed on the Board’s location details, as well as an active beneficiary and director in the casino’s ownership structure, until March 21, 2024.

However, according to 3 News, the casino didn’t want to comment on the matter.

According to the Board’s report, Mr. Lalji was removed from the position after the Union’s questions, however, in the casino’s structure, he is still active.

His brother, Aminmohamed Jafferali Lalji, continued to work as an executor and trustee, as well as the rest of the family. At the moment, the president of Richmond Inn Investments, Ltd., is the Vancouver property’s owner. 

The British Columbia Federation of Labour, the body that represents about 50 affiliated unions with 500,000 members, started the boycott, which was followed by the move of the Richmond City Council, which issued a motion to stop using these hotels until the agreement with the body is reached.

Shaelyn Arnould, one of the workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport, commented: “Sheraton is a top destination for people landing at the Vancouver International Airport and is known to be one of the largest and busiest hotels in the Lower Mainland and a majority of hotel staff are women and immigrants. But the cost of living in Vancouver and rent has skyrocketed while our wages haven’t kept up. We won’t let companies leave us behind and we’ll fight until we win.” 

Felisha Perry, another worker, added: “I’m on the picket line fighting for a living wage and to be able to have a family in my city. Everyday life is hard when you are struggling to keep up with rising costs for rent, gas, insurance, and groceries. Our ongoing strike is fundamentally about earning enough to live.”

The Culinary Union still hasn’t received the response to its letter sent to Ferenc Szony and David Ross on March 1. They were asking to speak to the Laljis, but so far no response has been received.

The Union:

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Affiliates of UNITE HERE from Nevada, Culinary and Bartenders Unions, support about 60,000 employees in Las Vegas and Reno. In total, UNITE HERE represents about 300,000 workers in North America.

The Culinary Union is among the largest unions of healthcare consumers in the state, and it has been active in the state for 89 years. It’s proud to help immigrants in the US through its widely famous The Citizenship Project

The Union supports guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, as well as kitchen and laundry workers.

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