Thousands of Culinary Union Members Picket Outside Las Vegas Strip Casinos

Thousands of industry workers in Las Vegas took to the Las Vegas Strip today to picket in front of eight different casinos. Members of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, one of the largest and most powerful unions in the country, are demonstrating in front of properties owned by the three largest gaming employers in the state as contract negotiations continue between the union and MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Encore Resorts.

The Culinary Union represents 60,000 workers across Nevada. 53,000 members are based in Las Vegas and are in active negotiations with casino and hotel employers for a new five-year contract. As of September 15, roughly 40,000 workers are working under an expired contract. Two weeks ago, union members voted to authorize a strike that could impact 22 casino resorts on the Strip.

The union is not currently on strike. The picket lines are intended to pressure the casinos into approving new five-year contracts that would include provisions such as pay increases, reduced workloads for housekeeping workers, expanded safety measures, health care, and job security in the event of another pandemic or economic crisis. The move to authorize a strike means that bartenders, cooks, cocktail and food servers, guest room attendants, porters, bellmen, laundry, and kitchen workers statewide could hit the picket line or strike at any time.

Demonstrations today are planned for the sidewalks in front of the LINQ Hotel + Experience, Paris Las Vegas, Park MGM Las Vegas, Harrah’s, Flamingo Las Vegas, Horseshoe Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino, and New York-New York Hotel & Casino. It marks the first time in nearly two decades that thousands of Culinary and Bartenders Union members have picketed on Las Vegas Boulevard. Workers clad in red T-shirts took to Las Vegas Boulevard starting at 10 a.m. today, hoisting signs and chanting their demands for contracts.

It’s already a chaotic fall season in Las Vegas. The city is just six weeks away from the Formula 1 Grand Prix — which is projected to bring in tens of thousands of visitors and more than a billion dollars in revenue. On its heels is the holiday season, New Year’s Eve festivities, and then the Super Bowl XXIV in February. The Culinary Union issued a statement urging members of the public, customers, community allies, elected officials, and convention planners to not cross an active picket line and to stand in solidarity with workers by not eating, meeting, or staying in a casino resort during an active picket line.

MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and Wynn Encore Resorts did not respond to requests for comments.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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