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Culinary Union Workers Picket in Las Vegas

Roughly 40,000 employees are working under an expired contract.

October 17, 2023

Thousands of workers belonging to Culinary Workers Union Local 226 took to the streets in Las Vegas last week to apply pressure to casinos and hotels to negotiate a new five-year contract, Eater Las Vegas reports.

Along with cooks, food servers, and bartenders, the union also represents hotel room attendants and laundry and kitchen workers. Out of the union’s 60,000 represented workers across Nevada, 53,000 members are in Las Vegas and are involved in contract negotiations that could affect 22 casinos and hotels, including MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Encore Resorts. Roughly 40,000 employees are working under an expired contract.

The picket lines held on Thursday did not constitute a strike on the part of the workers, but rather, were demonstrations to put pressure on the venues to come to an agreement in favor of the workers’ demands, which include pay increases and reduced workloads for housekeepers. However, the union workers did vote in favor of a strike authorization two weeks ago and could go on a full-fledged strike at any time.

According to Eater, Las Vegas is approaching an extremely busy tourist season that could be severely affected by a strike, with its upcoming Formula 1 Grand Prix race event in November, as well as the various year-end holiday festivities and Super Bowl XXIV in February 2024.

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