The Las Vegas Hotel Workers Union has reached a tentative agreement with Caesars, but the threat of a strike still looms
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The labor union representing tens of thousands of Las Vegas hospitality workers announced early Wednesday that it had reached a tentative agreement with casino giant Caesars Entertainment, a major breakthrough that could help avert an unprecedented strike in more than Of twelve hotels. -Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.
This announcement came several months after Tense negotiations Just days before the deadline set by the Culinary Workers Union to strike.
A walkout could still occur if deals are not reached by 5 a.m. Friday with MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts. But the tentative agreement with Caesars could provide the momentum needed for the culinary union to win new 5-year contracts for all 35,000 of its members who were working under expiring contracts at 18 properties owned or managed by the casino companies.
Negotiations with MGM Resorts are scheduled for Wednesday and Wynn Resorts on Thursday.
Caesars did not immediately comment on the tentative agreement, but CEO Thomas Rigg said on a recent earnings call: “When we reach agreement on the contract, this will be the largest increase our employees have seen in the four decades since we began interacting with the Culinary Union.”
Bethany Khan, a spokeswoman for the union, said the terms of the deal with Caesars will be pending approval by union rules and will be announced once approved.
A strike would sever the city’s economic backbone and significantly disrupt operations at some of Las Vegas’ most famous hotel-casinos as it prepares to host hundreds of thousands of people for Formula 1’s debut next week on the Strip.
It will be the latest in a series of high-profile actions across the country in what has been a big year for trade unions, including Outings in Hollywood And UPS’s controversial negotiations over it He threatened to disrupt Supply chain in the country. It will also follow hospitality workers being furloughed last month At the three Detroit casinosincluding MGM Grand Detroit.
“No matter if you’re an auto worker, or if you’re a teacher, or if you’re writers, or if you’re screenwriters, the whole concept is that we just want a fair way to make a living,” said Leslie Lila, a cocktail barista. Server at Bellagio. “We want to provide for our families, and that shows loud and clear in America.”
The race track for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix will feature sweeping views of several casinos that are at risk of strikes if they do not strike deals with the union before Friday morning. This includes Bellagio, Paris Las Vegas and MGM Grand.
Other properties that could be affected by the strike are the Wynn and Encore resorts, as well as the Aria, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York and MGM Resorts International’s Park MGM.
Hospitality workers say they are willing to strike as long as it takes to get fair contracts — from the housekeepers and porters who work behind the scenes to keep the Strip’s massive resorts quiet, to the bartenders and cocktail servers who provide customers with the service that helped make Las Vegas famous.
“We really don’t want to do it, but if we have to, we will do it,” Len Vachon, bell captain at Paris Las Vegas, said earlier Tuesday during a break in negotiations with Caesars. “We will strike for our families, for health care, for a pension, and for dignity in the workplace.”
Bargaining has been taking place since April over wages, benefits, job security and working conditions, but negotiations have intensified in recent months after an overwhelming majority of union members voted in September in favor of… Permission to strike.
The vote was followed by widespread demonstrations in the Strip, including a demonstration last month that ended in 58 workers arrested Who sat in the street and stopped rush hour traffic on one of the most popular stretches of the Strip. The workers described this as a show of force before any possible strike.
As that gathering began, two visitors from Missouri, Cindy Hiatt and Michelle Shirley, told the Associated Press that they would not return to Las Vegas again during any hotel workers’ strike.
“Hotels are going to have to realize they’re not going to have people who want to come to Vegas without these workers,” Hiatt said.
Members currently have health insurance and earn about $26 an hour, including benefits, Khan said. The union did not disclose what wage increases it was seeking because, as Khan said, “we don’t negotiate publicly,” but the union said it was demanding the largest wage increases ever negotiated in its history.
Workers also said they want better job security amid technological advances, as well as stronger security protections, including more security buttons on casino floors.