- Las Vegas’ Culinary and Bartenders Unions will hold a strike vote on Sept. 26, the unions announced last week. The unions expect tens of thousands of shift workers to attend one of the two voting sessions scheduled for that day.
- If a majority vote yes, the Culinary Union would be authorized to call for a strike at a large number of Vegas hotels, including properties owned by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, Circus Circus, Four Seasons and Virgin Hotels.
- Hospitality workers in Southern California are currently in the midst of the region’s largest multihotel strike in history. A potential Las Vegas strike would build upon labor movement momentum in the Southwest, as hotel workers fight against wages they say are insufficient to cover the rising cost of living.
The Culinary Union has not set a strike deadline, as it continues to negotiate in good faith with hotel operators in Las Vegas, according to a release obtained by Hotel Dive.
The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are proposing new contract language to provide greater security for workers. Proposed amendments include what the unions call “the largest wage increases ever,” reduced workload, mandated daily room cleaning and improved safety protections.
“We are negotiating for the best contract ever in the Culinary Union’s history to ensure that one job is enough. Companies are generating record profits and we demand that workers aren’t left behind and have a fair share of that success,” said Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, in a statement.
“My job got so much harder since the pandemic and I’m in constant pain at work,” said Evangelina Alaniz, a room attendant at MGM Resorts International. “Which is why we won't stop pushing until we win workload reductions, daily room cleaning, and the protections guest room attendants deserve and need.”
The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest labor union, representing 60,000 guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders and kitchen workers across Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada.
In 1984, 17,000 of the union’s members held a successful 67-day strike across the Las Vegas Strip, ending with settled contracts. The union also voted to hold a strike in 2018 but was able to settle contracts before a walkout.
The Culinary Union is an affiliate of Unite Here, which is currently in the midst of a multihotel strike in Southern California. Like their Vegas counterparts, striking workers in California are also advocating for higher wages that are better able to keep up with the cost of living.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas hotel companies are posting strong revenues and growth in recent months. In Q2 2023 earnings calls, MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment forecasted performance growth for the rest of the year and into the next. And Wynn Resorts posted increased operating revenues bolstered by luxury consumers in the same quarter.
Hotels across the city are expecting an influx of visitors as the city plans to host several major events in coming months, including Formula 1’s Grand Prix and Super Bowl LVIII.