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LAS VEGAS, NV-After nearly two months of negotiations, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders’ and Beverage Dispensers’ Union Local 165 have ratified contract agreements with four major casino owners here.

Union members approved the tentative agreements with Park Place Entertainment, Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Mirage and Mandalay Resort Group late last week, with a vote of 2,003 to 36. The four casino owners have been the principal players in the unions’ contract negotiations, which began on April 10. After more than a month of negotiations, tentative agreements were settled upon at the end of May. The recently ratified agreements call for five-year contracts, along with hourly wage and benefit increases of $3.23 ½ over the duration of the contracts.

At last week’s vote, union members also ratified contracts with Aztar Corp. and Four Seasons. The unions have also reached a tentative agreement with Riviera Holdings, which is expected to be approved shortly.

In addition, the unions have decided to postpone their June 1 strike deadline for 30 days, in order to give the smaller casino owners that remain in contract talks additional time to negotiate.

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