Uncertainty Looms as Las Vegas Casino Workers Await Contract Resolutions

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The New Year in Las Vegas is ushering in a sense of uncertainty for thousands of resort employees as contract negotiations between the Culinary Union and 21 casino operators in the city remain unresolved.

While the Culinary Union managed to secure favorable labor agreements for workers at the Mirage and the Tropicana, other major land-based casinos, including the Rio, Treasure Island, Sahara Las Vegas, and most downtown establishments, are yet to reach consensus.

Union Demands Fair Contracts

Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, expressed his concerns in a recent interview, emphasizing that despite their efforts, contracts with these casino operators have not been finalized. The Culinary Union, representing over 50,000 casino workers in Las Vegas, successfully negotiated swift labor deals for employees at the Mirage and the Tropicana, driven by redevelopment plans for these properties.

The Tropicana is set to make way for a $1.5 billion baseball ballpark for the Oakland A's, while the Mirage is slated for replacement by a guitar-shaped resort by the owners of the Hard Rock. However, for the remaining workers without labor deals, the prospect of strike deadlines looms large. Pappageorge indicated that strike deadlines could be announced as early as late January if agreements are not reached.

He underscored the union's stance, stating, "We're happy these companies are making great money. But they're going to have to share the wealth or we're going to take strike authorization votes and we're going to set strike deadlines." The union has already secured significant wage increases with the MGM, Caesars, and Wynn deals, marking the largest wage increases negotiated in its history.

Employees like Claudia Avalos, a room attendant at the Rio, are resolute in their determination to secure fair contracts. Avalos expressed, "We're willing to go on strike for our contract. We deserve the best."

Las Vegas Casino Labor Negotiations Hang in the Balance

The stakes are high for both sides, as 11 of the 21 Las Vegas resort properties without new labor deals are situated in the downtown area. As negotiations continue, the fate of these employees and the future of labor relations in the city's casino industry remain uncertain. The Culinary Union remains steadfast in its pursuit of equitable agreements for all its members, signaling that it will not back down in its efforts to secure the best possible terms for Las Vegas casino workers.

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