- Members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions in Las Vegas voted by 95% on Tuesday to authorize a citywide strike, the union shared.
- Now, the unions — known collectively as the Culinary Union — are authorized to call for a strike at 22 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, including at properties owned by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts.
- A strike deadline has not yet been set, as the union continues to negotiate in good faith with all employers along the Strip. If a strike does come to fruition, as many as 40,000 workers could be involved in the dispute.
Of the 60,000 workers the Culinary Union represents across Nevada, 53,000 are in Las Vegas. As of Sept. 15, 40,000 are working under expired contracts and could walk out if a strike is called.
The union’s bargaining committee has negotiations scheduled for next week with MGM, Caesars and Wynn, according to Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union.
“Today, Culinary and Bartenders Union members have sent the strongest message possible to the casino industry to settle a fair contract as soon as possible,” Pappageorge 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.”
In negotiations, the union has proposed new five-year contract language that includes the union’s largest wage increases ever, reduced workload and reduction of steep housekeeping room quotas, making daily room cleaning mandatory, strengthening safety protections against sexual harassment and assault and expanding the employees’ rights to be recalled after furloughs.
“I voted yes to authorize a strike because I’m fighting for my family and for our future,” said Maria Sanchez, a guest room attendant at the Bellagio. “The workload since the pandemic has been intense and when I get home I’m so tired and I don’t have energy to take my two kids to the park or play with them. [...] I was thinking about getting a second job, but I’m already doing more than one job at work right now and I believe that one job should be enough!”
“One Job Should Be Enough” has been a Culinary Union slogan this year, as workers advocate for wages that better keep up with the rising cost of living. Hotel workers in Southern California, who have been holding rolling strikes since July, walked out for similar reasons.
The Culinary Union is an affiliate of Unite Here, the union that has organized the strikes in California. It represents guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders and kitchen workers.
Union contracts have expired at eight MGM Resorts properties as well at all properties owned by Caesars and Wynn, adding up to 22 resorts total along the Las Vegas Strip.
Meanwhile, many of the same hotels are expecting an influx of visitors as Las Vegas plans for major upcoming events, including Formula 1’s Grand Prix and Super Bowl LVIII. In the midst of potential labor disputes, the Culinary Union has asked visitors to the city to patronize only those properties where employees are working under union-negotiated contracts.