Sunday, May 13, 2007

Special Podcast: Wynn Apologizes to Dealers

(UPDATE: Hunter at RateVegas.Com reports dealers did vote to unionize and he has the tally. Read it here.)

We came into possession of a 20-minute bootleg audio of Steve Wynn apologizing to dealers at the Wynn Las Vegas as they prepare to vote for whether to unionize in the wake of his decision to alter their tip-pooling set-up at the hotel. It's in the podcast feed now. You can hear it -- with my intro -- by clicking here or you can download it to your computer to hear whenever you wish by right-clicking here.

This audio is difficult to hear but compelling enough to post. In it, he discusses how he is sorry, but it's unclear whether he regrets the tip-pooling changes or how he unveiled them. He talks about his exhaustion at that time from going back and forth Macau.

Interestingly, I interviewed him in Macau at that time for Newsweek Magazine. I used a piece of it on the tip-pooling issue -- in which Wynn says the decision was a non-event -- on our Sept. 14 episode.

Vegas pundit Jon Ralston also posted this audio today and this is his summary from an email blast he sent out of what was said. Ralston also wrote his sources say they will unionize by a 3-to-1 margin. From Ralston:

He refers several times to a "mistake" he made on the tip pooling that "lost the family feeling." He says he did "not understand there was a sense of betrayal....I did not realize the extent of the mistake I had made until yesterday....There's nothing to be said except that I got it wrong.....I'm sorry for the aggravation."

More: "I would never do it on purpose....People with good intentions make mistakes....My job today is to reinstill trust from you by admitting I made a mistake."

Wynn says this union has lost 8 of 11 elections. Says successful election at Frontier has contract that he has distributed to employees that shows distribution of tips to be determined by management.

Says "most rabid anti-Steve guy or gal is not going to get fired."

"The thing I want to do is keep your job as your representative.....If the union gets a yes vote.....I have to sit lose all your flexibility....we have to revisit everything about our relationship....I need for us to be together to take us where we want to go...I'm your guy. I gotta be your guy."

More: "There will be people who will vote for the union to say, 'Screw you, Steve'". That will be a much bigger mistake than I made."

"Please vote no on the union....Give me a chance....."

Applause is heard on the tape as he concludes.