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99 percent of Wynn workers ratify union contract agreement

Updated November 22, 2023 - 8:31 pm

Culinary Local 226 members at Wynn Resorts voted 99 percen to ratify a “historic” new five-year agreement with their employer, rounding out the negotiation efforts at some of the largest Strip employers.

The union, representing about 5,000 hospitality employees at the two north Strip resorts, held two ratification vote sessions Wednesday. Members at Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International approved the contracts with 99 percent of each workforce in favor, the union said after votes on Monday and Tuesday.

Culinary officials have called the contracts historic for their significant wage increases, guaranteed lowered workloads, technology protections and career support. Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said each full-time, non-tipped employee will get roughly $3-an-hour raise in the first year and tipped workers will get a raise of roughly $1.50 hourly.

“It’s not just about wages and benefits,” he said Wednesday. “It’s not just about growth. It’s about job security, being able to retire with dignity, being able to own a home, being able to take care of your families, and work with respect and work in safety.”

About 70 percent of the union’s membership – made up of housekeepers, porters, bellmen, servers, bartenders, and kitchen and laundry workers – are considered non-tipped employees.

Pappageorge said the union negotiates an overall package, meaning a total compensation negotiation is then broken down further into sub-funds: health care, pension, housing, legal services and training. The overall package increased by 11 percent in the first year, the union said. The total package will increase by $9.21 per employee by the end of the contract cycle – more than double what was achieved in the previous cycle.

MGM and Caesars’ non-tipped workers will receive about $3,100 in backpay, with tipped workers receiving about $1,500, because their original contracts expired June 1. Wynn Resorts workers will get about $2,100 for the non-tipped laborers and $1,000 for tipped workers because their contracts expired on Aug. 1.

Culinary will now focus on its negotiations with 24 independent Strip and Downtown Las Vegas casino-resorts for new contracts, where the union represents about 15,000 workers. Pappageorge said Monday that strike deadlines could be called for some independent Strip operators by the end of this year and possible strike deadlines could be called for downtown locations in January or February 2024.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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