Labor Union

Bartenders Local 165

Website:

herelocal165.org

Location:

LAS VEGAS, NV

Tax ID:

88-0024168

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(5)

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $2,687,113
Expenses: $2,570,201
Assets: $2,560,210

Formation:

1934

Bartenders Local 165 is a labor union affiliated with Unite Here representing employees of Las Vegas casinos and resorts. It is the partner union of the politically powerful Culinary Local 226. The union has a long history in Las Vegas, dating back to the days when organized crime syndicated controlled much of the tourism and casino industry. The union is currently headed by president Lana Renton-Loebig, who was paid $119,415 in salary and received $65,559 in additional allowances and official disbursements for 2017, and secretary-treasurer Terry Greenwald, who earned a salary of $132,521 and received other disbursements of $114,279 as of 2017. [1]

Bartenders Local 165 is the partner union of and shares a pension fund with Culinary Local 226 (also an affiliate of UNITE HERE), another Las Vegas casino workers’ union, that is an integral player in Nevada Democratic politics and was a key part of the political machine associated with former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada). [2] Bartenders Local 165 is known for its left-of-center political stances, and its website has frequent attacks on the Trump administration for non-labor related issues such as immigration. [3] The website also has a section shaming bartenders at Las Vegas casinos who exercise their rights under Nevada’s right-to-work law not to join or support the union. [4]

Background

Bartenders Local 165 was founded in 1934 and is currently affiliated with the UNITE HERE international union, which was formed after a 2004 a merger between the Hotel Employees-Restaurant Employees (HERE) union and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). [5] Unite Here is notable for aggressive “corporate campaign” organizing tactics which use smear campaigns against employers to force them to deny workers private votes on unionization. [6]

Bartenders 165 reported over 4,000 members[7] and $2.5 Million in assets. There are currently six employees and officers of the union who earn over $100,000 per year. [8]

Controversies

Bartenders Local 165 is the sister union to Culinary Workers Local 226, which was led by the powerful labor leader Al Bramlet from the 1950s into the 1970s.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that during the 1970s, Bramlet allegedly was the “best customer” of a group of contract bomb-planters; a blast damaged a non-union Las Vegas restaurant in 1976. [9]

Bramlet was murdered in 1977, allegedly over a money dispute with the contract bomb-planters. According to the Review-Journal, this came at a time when the Chicago mob was active in Las Vegas and had members in the parent union of Culinary Workers 226 and Bartenders Local 165. [10] After Bramlet’s death, the U.S. Department of Labor alleged that Bramlet had illegally used the pension fund shared by Bartenders and Culinary to give out over $30 million in loans to Morris Shenker, owner of the Las Vegas Dunes Hotel. [11]

In 2008, a Labor Department compliance audit found that Bartenders Local 165 had engaged in improper financial recordkeeping and disclosure and engaged in the questionable practice of allowing secretary-treasurer Greenwald to sign blank checks which weakened financial compliance procedures prescribed by union bylaws. [12]

In 2018, Bartenders Local 165 settled a National Labor Relations Board charge filed by a Park MGM worker who was fired in apparent violation of Nevada’s right-to-work law for not possessing a “union pour card” which the union agreement required non-members to purchase. The employee was reinstated by her employer with back pay and seniority. [13]

References

  1. Unite Here Local 165 (DOL File Number 002-892), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2017, Schedule 11
  2. Bass, Michael. “Viva the Las Vegas Political Machine.” Brown Political Review. April 24, 2017. Accessed November 02, 2018. http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org/2017/04/viva-las-vegas-political-machine/.
  3. “About Us” Bartenders Local 165. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://herelocal165.org/
  4. “Scab Report” Bartenders Local 165. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://herelocal165.org/did-you-know-there-are-scabs-co-workers-not-paying-dues/
  5. “About Us” Bartenders Local 165. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://herelocal165.org/
  6. Kovacs, Trey, and Vincent Vernuccio. “Corporate Campaigns: How Unions Take the Secret Ballot Away from American Workers.” Capital Research Center. May 3, 2012. Accessed November 21, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/corporate-campaigns-how-unions-take-the-secret-ballot-away-from-american-workers/.
  7. Unite Here Local 165 (DOL File Number 002-892), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2017, Item 20
  8. Bartenders Local 165, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Parts VII and X
  9. Hopkins, AD. “Al Bramlet” Las Vegas Review Journal. February 7, 1999. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/al-bramlet/
  10. Hopkins, AD. “Al Bramlet” Las Vegas Review Journal. February 7, 1999. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/al-bramlet/
  11. Archives. “Labor Dept. Charges Slain Unionist Made Illegal Loans to Hotel Owner”. The New York Times. March 31, 1977. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/1977/03/31/archives/labor-dept-charges-slain-unionist-made-illegal-loans-to-hotel-owner.html
  12. “DoL Compliance Letter to Bartenders Local 165” US Department of Labor. May 8, 2008. https://www.dol.gov/olms/regs/compliance/CAP_Closing_Letters_2008/BBDU_LU165_05-08-08.pdf
  13. “Park MGM Bartender Wins Back Pay After Being Illegally Fired Because of UNITE HERE Union “Pour Card” Scheme” National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. November 27, 2018. Accessed February 26, 2019. https://www.nrtw.org/news/vegas-11272018/
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1998

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,687,113 $2,570,201 $2,560,210 $488,356 N $2,611,019 $74,825 $1,400 $468,211 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $3,209,476 $3,350,613 $2,456,509 $501,567 N $3,082,269 $123,213 $2,325 $358,013 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $3,057,359 $2,217,696 $2,609,966 $513,887 N $2,905,341 $143,717 $2,243 $330,679 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $2,058,582 $2,057,962 $1,781,792 $525,376 N $0 $2,052,859 $2,400 $329,361 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $2,016,167 $2,048,467 $1,791,887 $536,091 N $0 $2,011,043 $4,674 $319,780 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Bartenders Local 165

    4825 W NEVSO DR
    LAS VEGAS, NV 89103-3787