Date: November 3, 2023, 08:20h.
Last updated on: November 4, 2023, 11:36h.
Tens of thousands of Culinary Union and Bartenders Union members are prepared to go on strike next week if they do not have a contract.
The unions have announced a new deadline for calling a strike at Las Vegas hotels and gaming properties – Nov. 10.
About 35,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas have been working without a contract since September and 95% have authorized a strike.
The potential strike could affect 18 properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts.
The strike deadline falls just days before the highly anticipated Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, which is expected to attract around 100,000 visitors.
The Culinary Union represents 60,000 hospitality workers in Nevada, including housekeepers, servers, porters, cooks, bartenders, and more.
Negotiations between workers and management began in April for a five-year contract, but no agreement has been reached. Key issues include salary, job security, and worker safety.
Union Members Take a Stand
“Economically, the companies have made some movement, but we are still far apart,” said Ted Pappageorge, Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer, as reported by Reuters.
“It’s time for these companies to come to the negotiating table,” Pappageorge told the Review-Journal. “If they are not willing to do so, we will urge customers to take their business elsewhere. We have a vast network and are capable of rallying workers across the country.”
The union is well-prepared for a strike, with plans to set up picket lines at various casinos. This includes providing picket signs, portable bathrooms, tables, chairs, bullhorns, lumber for sign sticks, generators, sunscreen, banners, canopies, and water.
“I am ready to strike because we must stand firm on our demands. Wages, job security, and protecting our rights in the face of emerging technology are crucial in this contract,” said James Tanner, a bartender and union member at Caesars Entertainment’s Paris Casino.
Last month, 75 Culinary Union members and officials were arrested after blocking traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard in a demonstration of their ongoing labor dispute with the casinos.
Caesars Makes Generous Offers
During an earnings call on Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment CEO Thomas Reeg stated that the company is constantly in dialogue with the union and closed-door meetings are scheduled throughout the week.
When we reach a contract agreement, it will be the largest increase in employee benefits that the Culinary Union has seen in its four-decade history, he added.
In 1984, the Culinary and Bartenders Union held a citywide strike in Las Vegas. More recent strikes have also taken place.
Meanwhile, casino workers in Detroit have been on strike for three weeks, impacting three casinos.