OAN’s James Meyers
10:46 AM – Friday, November 3, 2023
Las Vegas hotels could be missing thousands of hotel employees within the next couple weeks.
The Culinary Workers Union (CWU) announced on Thursday that they have set a deadline for November 10th, or a strike will be imminent.
According to union spokesperson Bethank Khan, members currently receive health insurance and earn on average $26 hourly, including benefits. However, she asserted that they “do not negotiate in public,” so she declined to disclose the exact amount of pay increases the union is seeking. Nonetheless, the organization has stated that it is requesting “the largest wage increases ever negotiated” in its history.
The union said they are willing to walk off the job at 18 different casinos if the deal is not reached by the deadline, which includes casino titans Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International.
The announcement deadline is five days before the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, which is expected to bring in 30,000 people, according to Sky Sports.
Additionally, Ted Papageorge, the union’s secretary-treasurer and chief contract negotiator, urged tourists and Formula 1 attendees to support the workers if they end up going on strike, by not coming to Las Vegas.
“We will be communicating to ask customers that they should take their business elsewhere,” Papageorge said.
Pappageorge also voiced that the union and its members hope it does not have to come to a strike but that “workers are prepared, united and ready to strike if necessary.”
Nevada’s largest labor union, that consists of almost 60,000 members statewide, has not gone on strike in decades.
However, if the strike does happen then 18 properties could possibly be impacted. The properties include the Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Park MGM, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, The Linq, and Wynn and Encore Resorts.
Meanwhile, negotiations have reportedly been ongoing since April, with members arguing for “higher wages” and “better working conditions.”
Hospitality workers have repeatedly called for better job security, stronger security protections, and more safety buttons.
“We don’t feel safe on the casino floor,” veteran Bellagio cocktail waitress Leslie Lilla told The Associated Press. “We need enhanced security. We need emergency buttons in our service bars. We want to be protected, as well as for our guests.”
“This is our time. This is the labor movement’s time,” Lilla said. “We know that we can’t be a society where it’s just upper class and lower class. There’s got to be a middle. Unions create that middle class.”
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