In a significant win for Las Vegas hospitality workers, the Culinary Workers Union has reached a groundbreaking tentative agreement with Caesars Entertainment, potentially avoiding a city-wide strike. Described as “historic” by union leaders, the deal includes substantial wage increases in the first year, improved healthcare and pension benefits, and a reduction in workload for housekeepers – the first change of its kind in 30 years. Additionally, the agreement allows the union to support non-union workers on the Las Vegas Strip, a crucial win for workers’ rights.
While the news of the Caesars deal has brought hope to many workers, the looming threat of a strike still remains as negotiations with MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts have not been concluded. If agreements are not reached by the November 10 deadline, nine casino resorts employing 25,000 workers could be impacted, posing a significant challenge to the city’s bustling tourism industry.
MGM has expressed optimism about reaching an agreement and has pledged the largest pay increase in its history of contracts with the unions. However, these agreements come with substantial financial implications, as every 1% increase in wages translates to millions in additional labor costs for the casino operators.
The Culinary and Bartender unions have been in talks with the casinos for seven months, with 95% of their members voting to authorize a city-wide strike in September. This reflects the larger trend in the United States where unions are pushing for better pay and benefits amidst a shortage of workers.
As Las Vegas gears up for high-profile events like the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, the outcome of these negotiations will not only impact the livelihoods of thousands of workers but also the city’s bustling tourism sector. The resilience and determination of the workers have become a testament to the collective strength of the labor movement.
Tiffany Thomas, a guest room attendant at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and a member of the Culinary Union for 17 years, voiced her determination, stating, “I am willing to go on strike because I have a 10-year-old daughter who comes to negotiations with me and she is going to inherit all of this. I refuse to sit back and watch what we’ve built crumble. I want my daughter to look at me and know I fought for a better future.”