As the deadline looms for a new contract deal between the Culinary and Bartenders Union and hospitality employers in Las Vegas, tens of thousands of workers are prepared to walk off the job in what could be the biggest hospitality worker strike in U.S. history.
The Culinary Workers Union Local 226, representing 60,000 workers across Nevada, has been negotiating for seven months with employers including MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts, but as of September 15, roughly 40,000 workers are working under an expired contract.
The union, which says it is prepared to strike at 5 a.m. on Friday, November 10, claims that its members deserve more than what the companies are offering. Specifically, they are seeking expanded safety measures, better health care, and the largest pay increase ever negotiated in the history of the union.
The strike is planned to take place at 45 locations along the Las Vegas Strip, an area that is currently undergoing preparations for the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, which is set to begin on November 15. The union is urging the anticipated 120,000 race attendees not to cross picket or strike lines and not to patronize establishments where there is a labor dispute.
In preparation for the strike, the union is making logistical preparations to support the striking workers, including gathering protest materials and providing supplies for the workers who will be on the picket line.
The move towards a strike follows a wave of labor action in the hospitality industry, including MGM Grand Detroit workers going on strike in October, and union members being detained following a planned civil disobedience demonstration on Las Vegas Boulevard in late October.
The union is also in negotiations with other casino resorts in Las Vegas for a new five-year contract, including properties on the Strip and downtown Las Vegas. As of now, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Wynn Encore Resorts, and Formula One have not responded to requests for comments.
If a deal is not reached by the deadline, it could have a significant impact on the hospitality industry in Las Vegas, particularly with the impending Formula 1 race.