Tentative deal reached to avert walkouts at half of Vegas casinos set to strike
NEW YORK -- A tentative labor deal has been reached between the Culinary union and Caesars Entertainment to avert a potential strike at its nine casinos along the Las Vegas Strip, although nine other casinos still face possible walkouts come Friday morning.
The details of the agreement, which was announced in a tweet by the union, are not yet available, but the union said it was reached after 20 straight hours of negotiations. It covers 10,000 union members who work as cooks, bartenders, waiters and waitresses and housekeepers at the nine casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment.
The nine casinos on the strip owned by the company are Caesars Forum, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah's, Horseshoe, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell and The Linq.
The tentative deal will now be presented to rank-and-file members for a ratification vote. If they vote it down, they could still go on strike. But reaching a deal with one of the three casino operators along the strip increases the pressure on the other two companies to agree to similar deals before Friday morning's strike deadline.
"We are excited to reach an agreement ... which recognizes the integral contributions our team members have made to the success we have seen in Las Vegas over the last few years," said a statement from the company. "Team members will see meaningful wage increases that align with our past performance, along with continued opportunities for growth tied to our future plans to bring more union jobs to the Las Vegas Strip. Through this agreement, Caesars Entertainment will ensure that as we grow, our Team Members grow with us."
Negotiations are scheduled for Wednesday with MGM Resorts International, which owns another eight casinos on the Strip - Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York and Park MGM. Talks also are scheduled for Thursday with Wynn Resorts, the other casino operator facing a strike threat.
There are 25,000 Culinary union members between those two companies. A strike by that many workers would still be the largest in the hospitality industry in US history. But dealers and front desk staff are not included in the union and the casinos are likely to try to stay open if there is a strike.
The union has had 35,000 members at the three companies working under contract extensions since June. It has a separate deal with each company, allowing it to strike one, two or all three of them and has vowed to go on strike against any company not reaching a tentative deal by Friday morning at 5 am local time.