Members of Unite Here’s Culinary and Bartenders Unions have voted to authorise a citywide strike. 25,000 union members participated in two voting sessions throughout the day (May 22, 2018) and 99 per cent voted in favour of strike action. Union contracts covering 50,000 union workers expire on June 1, 2018 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.
Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, commented: “A strike is a last resort. We want to come to an agreement, but the union and workers are preparing for a citywide strike if contracts are not settled by June 1. We support innovations that improve jobs, but we oppose automation when it only destroys jobs. Our industry must innovate without losing the human touch. That’s why employers should work with us to stay strong, fair, and competitive.”
The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are negotiating 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.
The last major strike action that took place was in 1984 when thousands of Culinary Union members went on a citywide strike across the Las Vegas Strip for 67 days. They lost circa $75m in wages and benefits with the Las Vegas hospitality industry suffering a similar loss until contracts were settled.
The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are encouraging Nevada locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support workers by not patronising hotels and casinos in case there is a labour dispute on or after June 1, 2018.