Michael Lyle, Nevada Current
January 8, 2024
After securing wage increases and mandated daily room cleanings at major Las Vegas resort properties last year, Culinary Workers Local 226 is warning 7,700 workers will strike Feb. 2 if remaining strip and downtown properties don’t meet similar contract demands.
The union, which is negotiating new contracts at 21 strip and downtown properties including the Sahara, Westgate, Trump Hotel Las Vegas, The D, Circa, and Treasure Island, announced Monday that it set a February deadline for companies, a week before the 2024 Super Bowl is set to take place in Las Vegas.
In a statement Monday Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said workers at the properties “deserve the same wage increases, benefit protections, safety and technology language, and reductions in workloads as the rest of the Strip and they are organized and ready to fight for it.”
“No one wants to strike, but workers are serious and will strike if they have to and the Culinary Union has their back every step of the way,” he said.
The Culinary is seeking a 32% wage increase over five years, the same as what was agreed to by major Strip resorts, a reduction in housekeeping quotas, mandated daily room cleaning and greater protections against job-replacing technology.
Negotiations are planned beginning Tuesday starting with the Strat and Hilton Grand Vacations. Negotiations are scheduled over several following days with other properties through Jan. 18, ending with the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.
During an interview in November, Pappageorge said he expected those smaller properties, in particular the ones downtown, would respond to the union’s wage demands that “they are not MGM, they are not Caesars or they are not Wynn Resorts.”
“We are expecting and we will negotiate the same economic package and the same contract,” he said at the time.
The union threatened to take 35,000 workers on strike at MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts last year but successfully negotiated a new contract with the companies.
The strike came as major labor movements in 2023, including the United Auto Workers and the Screen Actors Guild, went on strike seeking better labor agreements.
Around the same time Culinary warned of a strike, 3,700 Detroit casino workers represented by the Detroit Casino Council – like the Culinary a UNITE HERE local – went on strike for 47 days. A deal was ratified in December, ending the strike.
Vice President Kamala Harris visited Las Vegas last week to congratulate the union on its victory.
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