Casinos in Las Vegas could be set for serious disruption just a week before Formula One comes to town, as workers come closer to calling strike action over a dispute.
The Culinary Workers Union has set a deadline for MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts of November 10th to reach a settlement with workers in a long-term renegotiation dispute over pay and conditions.
The union has warned that, if a settlement is not reached by 5 am PT on that date, a strike will impact 18 Las Vegas strip properties just a week ahead of the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Warning of the “largest hospitality worker strike in US history”, the CWU stated it is gathering supplies to maintain a 24/7 strike line at every casino impacted by the strikes.
The union stated: “Culinary Union been preparing for months for a strike and has been amassing everything needed to maintain a 24/7 strike line at every casino: Tablets for strike sign-in, picket signs, portable bathrooms, tables, chairs, bullhorns, lumber for picket sign sticks, generators, sunscreen, banners, canopies, water, coffee, hotspots, and more items are arriving every day.
“Culinary Union has also mailed out Striker ID Cards to all potential strikers and is educating workers on how to look up their bank routing and account number in order to sign up for strike pay.”
Negotiations have been taking place for over seven months for new contracts for casino workers in Las Vegas, with union representatives seeking fairer pay after several years of tough work in the light of the pandemic.
The union is seeking the largest wage increase in union history, a reduction in workload and housekeeping room quotas, the implementation of “best on-the-job safety protections” and the extension of recall rights.
As tensions have escalated in this dispute, workers have been picketing to pile pressure on the casinos to make concessions in the negotiations. In September, the 60,000 union members authorized strike action in an overwhelming majority vote.
In a vote of the 60,000 members, 53,000 of which are in Las Vegas, over 95% of members voted in favor of the action.
A union statement added: “ Ahead of upcoming conventions and the holiday season, the Culinary Union is asking Nevada locals, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support hospitality workers by not patronizing hotels and casinos if and where there is a labor dispute. In the event of a strike, support workers and do not cross pickets or strike lines.”