Las Vegas casino operators will be bracing themselves for the possibility of city-wide strike action in June which could see thousands of staff downing tools in a bid to secure better working conditions. Members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions will hold a strike vote on May 22, at the Thomas & Mack Center of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Union contracts covering 50,000 union workers expire on June 1 at 34 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas, including properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Penn National, Golden Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, and other companies.
Voting will take place in two sessions starting at 10am. and 6pm. The public is advised to avoid the Strip and Tropicana Avenue as tens of thousands of union members are expected to attend the two sessions and cast their votes. If a majority of workers vote yes, the union negotiating committee will be authorised to call for a strike at any time after the contract expires and workers can walk out on strike starting as soon as the morning of June 1.
Members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions who will be participating in the May 22 strike vote include: bartenders, guest room attendants, cocktail servers, food servers, porters, bellman, cooks, and kitchen workers at the casino resorts on the Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.
“Over eight decades, casino workers in Las Vegas have been faced with the same decision: show up or give up. You either show up and fight for what you deserve, or you give up and take whatever the company gives you,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “On May 22, thousands of union members will show casino employers that workers are going to fight for security and that they are not going to be left behind as companies are making record profits and getting windfall tax breaks.”
The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have proposed new contract language to provide greater measure of security for members including workplace safety, sexual harassment, subcontracting, technology, and immigration. In addition, the Union’s economic proposal seeks to provide workers a fair share of the employers’ enormous anticipated cash flows and Trump tax windfalls.
In 1984, thousands of Culinary Union members went on a city-wide strike across the Las Vegas Strip for 67 days which crippled the Las Vegas hospitality industry until contracts were settled. The last Culinary Union city wide strike vote was in 2002 when 25,000 workers packed the Thomas and Mack and an overwhelming majority voted yes to authorise a strike.