Hospitality workers in Las Vegas reached a tentative agreement with Wynn Resorts just three hours before the culinary union was prepared to go on strike. The union had issued a notice to Nevada’s three largest gaming employers, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts, stating that 35,000 hospitality workers would walk off the job at 5 a.m. on Friday, November 10, if a deal was not made for new contracts before then.
Caesars first made a deal with Culinary Workers Union Local 226 on Wednesday, November 8; MGM followed suit, reaching its tentative agreement with the union on November 9. On Friday, mere hours before the 5 a.m. deadline, Wynn came to a tentative agreement for a new five-year contract for its approximately 5,000 hospitality workers at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort, averting what may have been the largest hospitality strike in U.S. history.
Across the three powerhouse employers in Las Vegas, the union says it was successful in securing the largest wage increase ever negotiated in the union’s 88-year history, workload reductions for guest room attendants, increased safety protections, expanded technology contract language, and the right for unionized workers to support non-union restaurant workers seeking to unionize by respecting their picket lines.
“We applaud Wynn Resorts for agreeing to a great union contract which will ensure workers are protected with the best health care benefits, highest wage increases ever, and union job security,” said Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the union. The final push in negotiations came just one week before the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, an event expected to draw 120,000 people and bring in $1.3 billion to the city. A spokesperson for Wynn issued a statement, saying, “We look forward to ratification of our agreement soon, and to providing the legendary service for which our employees are known to the thousands of race fans about to join us.”
The three agreements for new five-year contracts must still go through a ratification process, which should take up to 10 days, in which employees will vote on whether to accept the terms or to renegotiate — potentially with new strike deadlines. The labor group which represents 60,000 hospitality workers is also continuing to negotiate for new five-year contracts with downtown Las Vegas casino-resort companies that are still under a contract extension, including: Binion’s Gambling Hall & Hotel, Circa Resort & Casino, Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, El Cortez Hotel & Casino, Four Queens Hotel & Casino, Fremont Hotel & Casino, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel, The D Casino, and the Plaza Hotel & Casino.