Casino workers at 18 Las Vegas Casinos say they will go on strike if their employers do not agree to a new labor contract.
An estimated 35,000 members of the Culinary Workers and Bartenders Unions employed by MGM Resorts International, Caesar Entertainment and Wynn Resorts have said they will walk off the job on Nov. 10 at 5 a.m. if progress is not made on a new five-year contract. The decision comes just over a month after 95% of the union members voted in late September to go on strike.
The hotel and casino operators, which are the three largest private employers in the city, and the hospitality workers began negotiations in March. The union said in a statement on Nov. 2 that it is now preparing for “the largest hospitality worker strike in U.S. history by amassing supplies and materials to maintain 45 different strike stations with multiple picket lines around casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.”
“A month ago, workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike and we have continued negotiating in good faith, but unfortunately companies haven’t made enough movement in negotiations. Their current proposal on the table is historic, but it’s not enough and workers deserve to have record contracts – especially after these giant corporations are enjoying their record profits,” said Ted Pappageorge, the Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Culinary Union celebrated our 88-year anniversary yesterday and we know first-hand the organizing and militancy it has taken to build Nevada’s middle-class and what it will take to ensure working families can thrive. Nothing in our nine decades has been won the easy way and our good jobs weren’t handed to us.”
“We made hospitality jobs in Las Vegas family-sustaining jobs with decades of sacrifice and strength, and we will once again win what we deserve – a great union job with fair wages, job security, and the best health care benefits so that workers can provide for their families,” he added.
Pappageorge said information on how to sign up for strike pay has been distributed to union members and organizers have accrued supplies – including portable bathrooms, tables, chairs, bullhorns, generators, sunscreen, banners, canopies, water, and hotspots – to maintain a 24/7 picket line.
“The Las Vegas unions, considered among the most powerful in the country, are demanding higher wages, stronger protections against new technology that may threaten jobs, a reduction in steep quotas for housekeepers and improved safety for workers,” report The New York Post.
The Culinary Union represents 60,000 hospitality workers across Nevada. Approximately 53,000 of its members work in Las Vegas.
The union released a report titled “The Human Cost of High Hotel Profits: A Survey of Las Vegas Guest Room Attendants” on Oct. 6 detailing the experience of people employed in the city’s hospitality industry. At least 67% of guest room attendants said that they were not provided with adequate cleaning supplies and equipment by management and 81% indicated that their employers did not do enough to ensure employee elevators were operational. At least 88% reported pain or discomfort while working and 57% said they had seen a doctor for work-related pain.