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Culinary Union strike averted at 3 Strip-area resorts

Updated February 2, 2024 - 5:14 pm

Hospitality employees at multiple Strip-area properties did not walk off the job following some late-night deals and deadline extensions between Culinary Local 226 and hotel-casino employers before a Friday morning strike deadline.

The union reached tentative agreements with the Sahara for 650 workers and at the Rio for about 670 workers, it announced Friday. Negotiators originally called the same deadline for eight downtown hotel-casinos and the off-Strip Virgin hotel-casino but extended it to 5 a.m. Monday for those properties.

The Plaza reached a tentative agreement early Wednesday morning for its 250 unionized workers, the first downtown property to do so. Other downtown properties that have struck deals include Circa, Golden Gate, The D and El Cortez.

As of publication time, unsettled properties downtown included TLC Casino Enterprises-owned Binion’s and Four Queens, Boyd Gaming-owned Fremont and Main Street Station, Tilman Fertitta-owned Golden Nugget and CIM Group and Fifth Street Gaming-owned Downtown Grand.

Culinary is negotiating a new city-wide five-year contract for its members. It represents housekeepers, servers, bellmen, porters, bartenders and kitchen and laundry workers across the valley.

Union members ratified a deal with MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts in November. The union threatened to strike several days before the Formula One race, putting pressure on operators to finalize the contract agreement.

Culinary officials have said they want to set a “historic” contract that has similar gains to what was earned with the Strip’s three largest employers last fall. Those include increased wages and benefits, a daily housekeeping requirement, protections from job-replacing technology, workforce safety measures and more.

Other independently operated Strip properties have reached tentative agreements with the union in the months since, including Treasure Island, Circus Circus, the Palms, the Mirage, Strat, Westgate and others.

Culinary began picketing at all unsettled downtown Las Vegas companies on Friday through 9 p.m. and will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Though the protest is not a strike, the union will urge customers not to cross their lines.

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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