Las Vegas Casinos Face Threat of Worker Strike on Nov. 10 (1)
Over 35,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas will walk off the job next week if the city’s largest casino companies fail to reach a deal with labor leaders.
The Culinary Workers Union said Thursday that employees at 18 resorts owned by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Wynn Resorts Ltd. will go on strike if a deal isn’t reached by Nov. 10 at 5 a.m. PST. The 35,000 room attendants, bartenders, and restaurant staff at the three companies have been working on an expired contract since Sept. 15.
A strike could bring the strip’s largest casinos and resorts—including Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay, and the Bellagio—to a standstill, days before the city’s Formula One race, which was predicted to bring in over $1.2 billion. The unions called on the public Thursday to support workers by not visiting resorts and casinos where staff plan to strike.
Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said negotiations, which have been ongoing since April, have ground to a halt in recent weeks. The Culinary Workers Union Local 266 and the Bartenders Union Local 165 represent 53,000 workers at 39 hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, and said they’re seeking a five-year contract that would grant historic wage increases, reduced workload quotas, protections against workplace violence, and guaranteed job security from increased automation.
For visitors coming amid a strike, Pappageorge said they should expect “significant difficulties” in receiving the same level of service at the hotels and casinos.
“It’s unfortunate but if we’re forced to strike, then the workers are going to withhold their labor and hopefully that sends a powerful message to these companies to do the right thing,” he said.
The impending strike is the latest in a string of high-profile labor disputes caused by a tight labor market, high inflation, and record corporate profits that have left workers resentful and also emboldened. According to Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker, over 400,000 workers have gone on strike this year, including auto workers, Hollywood actors and writers, and Kaiser Permanente staff.
The union plans to continue talks through Nov. 10, Pappageorge said. After that point, workers will be on strike until a deal is reached, he added.
Wynn Resorts declined to comment on the strike deadline. Representatives for MGM and Caesars didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.