March 4, 2021 Casino, Tribal, Land-Based

Graton Resort raises minimum wage for all employees

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Northern California Tribal casino already offers 100% paid health insurance.

Graton Resort and Casino on Thursday said it has instituted across-the-board minimum wage increases for all of its team members.

The increases will be effective March 8, officials for the Tribal casino said.

Tipped workers will see their rate increase by $2.50/hour to $17.50 per hour; non-tipped workers will get a $3.25/hour bump to $18.50 per hour; and, salaried employees will get minimum 10% raises.

In addition, Graton Rancheria Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris said resort employees will benefit from a new discretionary bonus program each quarter.

Graton Resort is located in Rohnert Park, California, in the middle of the Sonoma County Wine Country, between Petaluma and Santa Rosa on Highway 101.

The Resort has nearly 2,000 full-time staffers, which is said makes it one of Sonoma County’s largest private employers.

“Families in Northern California struggle to get by on the minimum wage,” Sarris said in a statement. “Costs for food and shelter are inordinately high here. In keeping with the Tribe's mission of social justice and environmental stewardship, our business has always compensated team members above the minimum wage in addition to providing paid benefits such as health insurance and PTO. We already offer 100% paid employee health insurance. A wage increase seemed only fitting to help our team members after a difficult year.”

Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE added, “Graton Resort & Casino's life-changing raises and bonuses will enable workers, their families, and their communities to rebuild and thrive in Northern California. Too many employers in the hospitality industry have left their workers behind during COVID-19, and the leadership of Graton Resort and Casino sends a powerful message that our recovery depends on good jobs and a just economy.”

Kathy Winfield, a public areas cleaner for Graton Resort, said the cost of living “makes it really hard to hold on in Sonoma County,” noting it has been years since she has had the chance to take a family vacation.

“We recently had two tragedies in my family, and this raise will take some of the pressure off financially and allow us to spend quality time together to heal,” Winfield said. “Family is so important, and this raise will give us the chance to start a new chapter.”

 

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