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Culinary Union sets strike deadline for nearly 8K Las Vegas workers

Updated January 8, 2024 - 5:14 pm

Culinary Local 226 announced Monday that it has set a strike deadline that will impact nearly 8,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas.

Union members working at independent operators on the Strip and downtown Las Vegas casinos will go on strike at 5 a.m. Feb. 2 if they do not reach tentative agreements with their employers before then, according to a news release. The deadline is just ahead of the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, which is set to be held at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11.

A possible strike would impact 7,700 hospitality workers, according to the union.

If negotiations break down ahead of the strike deadline, the unions’ worker negotiating committee may call for a strike sooner at individual properties.

The Culinary said it will plan “large-scale labor demonstrations,” including informational pickets before and after work shifts, ahead of the deadline. The union held similar demonstrations when it was negotiating contracts with the Strip’s three largest employers — MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts — in the fall. Dozens of Culinary members blocked traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the Bellagio fountains and were arrested.

Members ratified a deal with MGM, Caesars and Wynn in November. The union threatened to strike several days before the Nov. 16-18 Formula One Weekend race, putting pressure on operators to finalize the contract agreement. Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said that union negotiators meet with employers weekly or daily to work on their respective agreements.

Those deals — which were roughly identitical — gave Culinary and associated Bartenders Local 165 members a roughly $3-per-hour raise in the first year for nontipped employees and a $1.50 hourly raise for tipped employees.

Culinary officials have said they are negotiating for similar contracts with the remaining operators.

Some of the Southern Nevada hotel-casinos working without a contract include Rio, The Strat, Sahara, Circus Circus, Treasure Island, Westgate, Binion’s, Circa, Plaza, Golden Gate, The D and Four Queens.

Boyd Gaming, which operates the Fremont, California and Main Street Station in downtown Las Vegas, declined to comment Monday. Dreamscape Cos., operator of the Rio off the Strip, and operator for D Las Vegas, Circa and Golden Gate downtown did not respond to requests for comment.

The union has reached contract agreements with The Mirage, Tropicana, Four Seasons and Palms.

According to the union, the upcoming negotiations schedule is as follows:

Jan. 9: Hilton Grand Vacations, The Strat

Jan. 10: Circus Circus

Jan. 11: Sahara

Jan. 12: D Las Vegas, Circa, Golden Gate, Treasure Island, Waldorf

Jan. 16: Westgate

Jan. 17: Trump Hotel Las Vegas

Jan. 18: Grand Sierra Resort (Reno)

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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