The largest employer on the Las Vegas Strip – MGM Resorts International – has joined its competitor Caesars Entertainment in reaching a tentative agreement with the hotel worker union in the city to avert a sweeping strike.
So far, the casino operators have not unveiled the terms of their new five-year contracts. As revealed by the Culinary Workers Union, the agreements offer significant pay raises and safety improvements.
The union’s secretary-treasurer and chief negotiator, Ted Papageorge, issued a statement to confirm that the contract and economic package reached after seven months of negotiations has been the best contract and economic package that the union had managed to win in its 88-year history. Mr. Papageorge also noted that the worker union had secured significant pay raises for its members every year for the next five years, and had also kept the union pension, health insurance, and comprehensive union benefits.
Other wins for the employees are reductions in housekeeping workload, better job security and improved safety amid the implementation of some technology advancements, such as robot bartenders.
If officially approved, together, the two agreements would have over 30,000 hospitality workers, who had said they would walk out in the early hours on November 10th in case negotiations with their employers failed, covered. The hospitality workers include the utility porters and housekeepers, as well as bartenders and cocktail servers.
About 35,000 Workers in the Las Vegas Strip Properties Covered by Newly-Reached Contracts
After a total of 40 hours of negotiations since November 7th, the Culinary Workers Union was turning its attention to getting the same terms by 5:00 AM on November 10th for 5,000 of its members who are currently employed at Wynn and Encore Resorts.
As the agreement is not final, the threat of a walkout still looms, although on a much smaller scale, until the deal is officially reached. According to experts, such a strike is highly unlikely, considering the tentative agreements reached with the two casino giants.
Since April 2023, the union has been trying to agree on new five-year contracts for members employed at a total of 18 casino and entertainment properties owned or operated by Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts, and Wynn Resorts.
The agreement between the worker union and MGM Resorts involves about 25,000 workers in the brand’s Bellagio, Aria, MGM Grand, Park MGM, Excalibur, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay, and Luxor casinos. The union’s deal with Caesars Entertainment involves about 10,000 workers not only in the company’s flagship Caesars Palace, but also in Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Planet Hollywood, Flamingo, Cromwell, Paris Las Vegas, and Linq casinos.
The two casino operators released separate statements, saying the tentative agreements reached with the worker union recognize the union workers for their contributions to the operators’ success. The CEO of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle, described the employees as “the heart” of the company and praised them for being the driving force in his company’s successful presence in the market for so many years.