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Las Vegas Casino Workers Unions Set Strike Deadline

Written By Derek Helling | Updated:
culinary union members being arrested

Two unions that represent workers at Las Vegas casinos have taken the next step in using their leverage to obtain new labor contracts. At this point, the only step left for members of these unions is to walk off their jobs.

That is exactly what could happen at 5 a.m. Pacific Time on Nov. 10 if contract agreements aren’t in place. That is the deadline unions have set for significant progress in ongoing negotiations.

Just under a week remains until deadline

After members of the Bartenders and Culinary unions in Las Vegas voted to authorize a strike in September, there is now a firm date and time for when that action could begin. The unions announced 5 a.m. local time on Nov. 10 as a strike deadline on Thursday.

According to a news release from the unions, the work stoppage would be the largest hospitality worker strike in US history. Combined, the two unions have more than 35,000 members working under expired contracts for 18 different casinos.

Solidarity among union members seems to be strong right now. On Oct. 12, thousands of members picketed eight Caesars and MGM casinos. On Oct. 25, another rally on the Strip was sufficient to block traffic on sections of Las Vegas Blvd. In response, law enforcement arrested 75 demonstrators.

The union states that at this time, negotiation sessions with casino representatives are pending. It’s uncertain how much pressure the strike deadline announcement will apply to the casinos. The demands they need to fulfill to avert the work stoppage are clear, however.

Path to averting a strike for Las Vegas casinos

The release from the unions lays out exactly what they are pressing for in new labor contracts. In addition to what it calls “the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the history of the Culinary Union,” the proposed terms include:

  • Cessations on room quotas and establishing set areas for housekeepers
  • Expansion of return-to-work job protections
  • Implementation of new on-the-job safety rules
  • Protections against job loss due to automation

The last time there was a work stoppage among Culinary Union members in Las Vegas was 2002. If this strike occurs on Nov. 10, it will be the ninth in Las Vegas history involving members of the Culinary Union. However, this could be the largest by a significant margin.

Should the strike occur, the unions are asking Las Vegas locals and tourists to respect their picket lines. That includes not patronizing the 18 affected casinos. All 18 of them count either Caesars, MGM, or Wynn among their management. The casinos are:

  • Caesars Entertainment: Caesars Forum, Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, The Linq, Paris, and Planet Hollywood
  • MGM Resorts: Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York New York, and Park MGM
  • Wynn Resorts: Wynn Las Vegas

Amid the ongoing strike among casino workers in Detroit, Nov. 10 could see the beginning of the largest work stoppage among casino workers in US history. The casinos still have time to avert that situation.

Photo by AP Photo/John Locher
Derek Helling Avatar
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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