Las Vegas hospitality union workers vote 95% in favor of a potential strike

September 27, 2023
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While no date or deadline for the strike is set, the local unions representing 60,000 people are prepared to protest if ongoing contract negotiations are not satisfactory.

Las Vegas hospitality workers have authorized a strike against resorts on The Strip via a majority vote during a meeting of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165. The vote does not guarantee a walkout, but the strike was supported by 95% of the 60,000 workers represented by these unions.

There is still time for new contract negotiations to take place before a strike is enacted. MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts contracts for around 40,000 roles, including housekeepers, cooks, servers and bartenders, were extended in June and expired on September 15.

Unite Here, a union that represents workers throughout both the United States and Canada, has also been part of attempts to negotiate deals with the major resorts since April this year. The hotels’ hospitality team members are seeking higher wages, more safety protections and higher recall rights.

According to union officials, after the Covid-19 pandemic, Las Vegas saw a 20% decrease in the number of hospitality workers, and union members are interested in the security of being able to return to their jobs should another pandemic or economic crisis occur.

Though Caesars and Wynn have not publicly commented on the strike vote, MGM released a statement saying, “We continue to have productive meetings with the union and believe both parties are committed to negotiating a contract that is good for everyone.”

In 2018, a strike authorization vote was also held by 25,000 workers, but resorts managed to reach an agreement before any strike action was taken. There is no deadline for when a potential strike could occur and contract negotiations are expected to continue next week.

Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union, said in a statement, “If these gaming companies don’t come to an agreement, the workers have spoken and we will be ready to do whatever it takes - up to and including a strike. Workers brought every single one of these companies through the pandemic and into a great recovery, and workers deserve a fair share.

“Companies are doing extremely well and we are demanding that workers aren’t left behind.”

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