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Melanie Porter October 11, 2023 3 min read
Culinary Workers Local 226 to Set Up Eight Picket Lines
Thousands of hospitality workers are getting ready to picket eight MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment casino properties while pushing for a contract
Earlier this week, in the context of the stagnating contract negotiations between hospitality unions in Sin City and big operators of casino resorts, reports of concerns mounting over potential strikes that could disrupt the hospitality industry in Las Vegas were made public.
With little to no progress and “no real movement” as a result of the negotiations, as explained by Culinary Union representatives at the end of their last meeting with MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment representatives, thousands of hospitality workers are now getting ready to picket several casino resort locations on the Strip.
Union Workers to Picket 8 MGM and Caesars Properties on Thursday
For the first time in the past 20 years, thousands of members of the Culinary and Bartenders Union will engage in picketing on the Las Vegas Strip. They will be sitting in front of eight casinos belonging to MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corporation giants.
The picket lines will be set up twice. Each of them will last for two hours, starting at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at three different locations along the Las Vegas Strip. The picket lines at properties belonging to MGM will be set up in front of New York-New York and Park MGM. The two Caesars picket lines will be placed in front of Harrah’s, Flamingo, and the Linq, and in front of the Horseshoe, Paris, and Planet Hollywood.
Together with Bartenders Union Local 165, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is a Nevada affiliate of UNITE HERE, standing for 60,000 workers based in Reno and Las Vegas, representing the majority of the casino resorts found on the Las Vegas Strip as well as in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents a total of 300,000 workers part of the gaming, food services, and hotel industries in North America.
Currently, the Culinary Union will continue to negotiate for a new five-year union contract while also asking for language that will make it clear that the no-strike clause would not stop the union from taking action, strikes included, against casinos and restaurants that are not part of the union.
At the same time, the union is asking for casino workers’s right to respect picket lines, substantial rises in wages and benefits, extended safety and technology language, and a smaller workload for guest room attendants.
For the time being, contracts representing 43,000 workers at MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment have expired.
No Strike Deadline Announced
The union has authorization to call for a strike at any given moment. There is no deadline for the strike announced by union representatives for the time being and negotiations will continue “in good faith with all gaming companies.”
The Culinary Union has also asked members of the public, as well as elected officials, customers, convention planners, and allies in the local community not to cross any of their active picket lines.
The union has also made a call for everyone to show support and solidarity for the workers by refusing to buy food, organize meetings, or seek accommodation in casino resorts during the active picket lines.
Culinary’s secretary-treasurer, Ted Pappageorge, explained the sides were still “significantly apart” in terms of salary and benefits. He also emphasized that union members were eager to send a “clear, strong message across” and give the companies the chance to reverse the current course of the negotiations.
Earlier this year, the Culinary Union vowed to protect worker rights and support them in the event of the Tropicana closing down for two years due to the upcoming Oakland Athletic baseball stadium.