Las Vegas Sun

July 7, 2015

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Without owners at table, unions unwilling to talk

MGM Mirage's woes

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After meeting Monday to discuss a request that CityCenter and Cosmopolitan workers accept pay cuts and other concessions, building trades union officials were prepared to reject the proposal made by general contractor Perini Building Co.

A source close to the building trades, who said he was not authorized to speak about confidential negotiations, said that at a regularly scheduled building trades meeting Monday the unions decided they are no longer willing to negotiate with the general contractor as a proxy for the projects’ owners. Any further talks must be conducted directly with the owners — MGM Mirage for CityCenter and Deutsche Bank for Cosmopolitan.

“The council would rather have MGM Mirage at the table,” said Steve Ross, executive secretary-treasurer of Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades.

Perini executives approached union leaders last week to discuss the financially troubled projects, asking for a $2-an-hour wage cut from about 11,000 trades members at CityCenter and Cosmopolitan. Perini also asked that workers surrender raises of about $1.75 to $3 an hour scheduled to take effect over the summer for many trades and stop taking 15-minute morning breaks.

The requests come as the contractor struggles to finish the $9 billion CityCenter project and the Cosmopolitan, with a price tag of more than $3 billion, by the end of the year and mid-2010, as planned.

People present at the meetings between the general contractor and union said Perini officials told them the project owners, who are working to find financing to complete the projects, had asked that the general contractor request the concessions. Perini officials did not say during the meetings whether there would be consequences if the unions reject the requests.

Union officials are waiting to be contacted again by Perini, Ross said Wednesday.

“It’s highly unlikely” the unions would accept the deal, he said. “We want to be part of a solution, but rolling back wages and benefits is not it.” Officials with Perini, Deutsche Bank and MGM Mirage could not be reached for comment.

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