Las Vegas hospitality workers could be the next group of workers to strike in demand of better wages and working conditions.
On Tuesday, members of the Culinary and Bartenders Unions voted to authorize a strike at nearly two dozen locations on the Las Vegas Strip. This gives the unions the power to call a strike should it not come to an agreement with employers, but negotiations are expected to continue next week.
This authorization comes as Las Vegas is preparing up for major tourism events such as the Formula 1 race across the Strip in November and Super Bowl LVIII in February.
According to a statement from Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union, the unions are aiming to “settle a fair contract as soon as possible” but are prepared to strike.
“Companies are doing extremely well now and we are demanding that workers aren’t left behind,” he said.
Biden joins UAW picket line
The union states that it represents 60,000 workers in Nevada, which is almost 90 percent of whom are in Las Vegas and is in negotiations with employers for a new five-year contract. The union said about 40,000 guest room attendants, servers, bartenders and other hospitality workers at 22 properties on the Strip have been working under expired contracts since Sept. 15.
The union's demands include a wage increase, reducing housekeeping room quotas and mandating daily room cleaning. They are also asking for a number of work safety provisions such as expanding use of safety buttons to more workers, mandatory room checks, and tracking customers’ criminal behavior.
There are also a variety of technology protections, which includes advanced notification when new technology is introduced that would impact jobs, health care and severance pay for workers laid off due to new technology, and the right to privacy from technology protection. Finally, they are looking to extend recall rights so workers can return to their jobs in case of another pandemic or economic crisis.
“Companies are generating record profits and we demand that workers aren’t left behind and have a fair share of that success,” Pappageorge said in a press release earlier this month.
Nevada casinos set a new single-month gaming revenue record for the market after raking in $1.4 billion from players in July and nearly 4835 million went to casinos on the Strip.If the union does choose to strike it may not hit all 22 casinos at once. It is believed that the Culinary Union may copy the United Auto Workers strike by launching strikes at certain properties and then expanding to more locations. Should the union launch a strike, it is asking for support from locals and tourist for hospitality workers by not patronizing hotels and casinos.
The union has not yet set a strike deadline.