Nevada’s largest union, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 of Las Vegas, has reached agreement with three major casino-entertainment companies that will avert a strike that threatened operations at 16 Las Vegas Strip properties during the upcoming Formula One race in Las Vegas.
The union, which represents nearly 40,000 culinary workers, servers, and other staff, had threatened a strike beginning November 10 that could have created chaotic conditions for visitors to Las Vegas during the November 16-18 F1 activity at the heart of the Strip. Nevada Bartenders Union Local 165 also reached a new deal with the three casino companies.
Caesars Entertainment was the first of three Vegas gambling giants to reach a deal with the culinary union, which announced a tentative agreement on Wednesday, November 7. On Friday, the union reached a similar deal with MGM Resorts, and a tentative pact with Wynn Resorts emerged on Saturday, preempting the last pssoible strike.
‘Best contract ever’ for workers
The Culinary Union celebrated the new agreement, which had followed several months of its members working without a deal in place and weeks of protest at several Strip properties. According to a press statement from the union, the new deals accomplished six primary union objectives:
- Winning the largest wage increases ever negotiated in the history of the Culinary Union.
- Reducing workload and steep housekeeping room quotas, daily room cleaning, and establishing the right for guest room attendants to securely work in set areas.
- Providing the best on-the-job safety protections for all classifications, including safety committees, expanding the use of safety buttons to more workers, penalties if safety buttons don’t work, enforcing mandatory room checks for employee and public safety, and tracking sexual harassment, assault, and criminal behavior by customers.
- Strengthening existing technology protections to guarantee advanced notification when new technology is introduced which would impact jobs, require training for new jobs created by technology, health care and severance pay for workers who are laid off because of new technology, the right to privacy from tracking technology introduced by companies, notice of third-party data sharing workers have generated through their work, and the right to bargain over technology that tracks the location of employees or messaging between workers.
- Extending recall rights so that workers have more job security and have the right to return to their jobs in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis for up to three-years.
- Making clear that the no-strike clause does not prevent the Culinary Union from taking action, including picketing and leafleting in support of non-union restaurants workers on the casino property.
Source: Culinary Union 226
US President Joe Biden also congratulated the union and the three casino companies on reaching a new agreement. Biden had appeared on the picket line at one point to support the union workers when negotiations between the two sides had slowed.
“All workers – including hospitality workers – should have good jobs with fair pay and benefits that give them the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families,” said Biden, upon receiving news of the labor agreement.
Feature image source: Culinary Union 226