Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine

Las Vegas Workers Strike Could Impact Numerous Casinos And Employees

Culinary Union Authorizes Potential Strike, But Still In Negotiations


That New York Strip or frozen margarita might not be in the cards at some Las Vegas casinos if a threatened strike by hospitality workers takes place in the coming weeks.

Workers with the Culinary Workers Union (CWU) have voted to authorize a strike if a new five-year labor deal can’t be reached.

The union represents cooks, waiters, bartenders, housekeepers, and others at some of the city’s largest casinos including properties owned by MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and others. Union membership totals 60,000 workers in Nevada overall, with 53,000 employed in Las Vegas.

A date for a walkout hasn’t been set as negotiations continue.

“Culinary and Bartenders Union members have sent the strongest message possible to the casino industry to settle a fair contract as soon as possible,” union secretary-treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement. “We have negotiations scheduled next week with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn/Encore Resorts and it’s up to the three largest employers in Las Vegas to step up and do the right thing.”

Pappageorge added that workers were ready to do “whatever it takes – up to and including a strike.”

Union Demands

The CWU’s current contract expired on Sept. 15 and workers are asking for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Some of the group’s demands include the largest wage increases ever negotiated in union history.

Issues related to technology are also a part of the union’s goals. Adding to existing protections guaranteeing advanced notification when new technology impacts jobs is an issue. This includes requiring training for new technology jobs. The union wants health care and severance pay for workers laid off because of new technology as well.

Additionally, workers hope to gain more recall rights, allowing more employees to return to their jobs in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis.

Casino Management Responds

A potential strike could affect numerous casinos on the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas. This could come at a busy time in the city. Upcoming events include the South Point 400 NASCAR race, Las Vegas Grand Prix, SEMA auto show, National Finals Rodeo, and more.

Casino management has responded to the strike authorization this week and hopes to reach some kind of agreement in the coming days.

“We continue to have productive meetings with the union and believe both parties are committed to negotiating a contract that is good for everyone,” MGM noted in a statement.

Wynn also responded to the strike vote and added that the company “has historically had a positive and cordial working relationship with labor unions and has always reached satisfactory agreements with each. Our employees are the heart and soul of Wynn, and we will continue to work with Local 226 and Local 165 to reach an agreement that provides our employees with competitive wages and benefits, in a work environment that matches our high standards.”

Beyond Caesars, MGM, and Wynn, other casinos affected include properties like Hilton Grand Vacations, Mirage, Rio, Sahara, Strat, Treasure Island, Tropicana, Trump Hotel, Virgin Hotels, Waldorf Astoria, Westgate, Binion’s, Circa, Downtown Grand, El Cortez, Four Queens, Fremont, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Main Street, the D, and the Plaza.