Contracts expire for 40K Culinary Union workers in Las Vegas

A union strike vote is scheduled for September 26
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:30 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - As of Friday, September 15, contracts covering 40,000 workers who are represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 expired.

That number comprises approximately two-thirds of the total membership in those unions, according to a media release. 53,000 are based in Las Vegas and are in active negotiations with casino/hotel employers for a new 5-year contract and are participating in the Tuesday, September 26 Strike Vote.

Last week, the Culinary and Bartender Unions sent a formal letter to each of the MGM Resorts International properties, Caesars Entertainment Corporation properties, and Wynn/Encore to initiate a 7-day notice to end the contract extensions that were in place.

Terminating the contract extension agreements means that 40,000 Culinary and Bartenders Union members will be working under an expired contract and that there is “an increased risk of a potential major labor dispute in Las Vegas,” according to the union. Those contracts expired with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn/Encore Resorts.

Terms and conditions of an expired collective bargaining agreement largely remain in effect, including wages, benefits, and job security protections. But the no-strike provisions are no longer in effect, setting the stage for workers to go on strike if there is a successful authorization of one, and if the Culinary and Bartender Unions and employers do not come to an agreement before a strike deadline. The Culinary Union has not yet set a strike deadline.

The Culinary Union is the largest labor union in Nevada and alongside the Bartenders Union Local 165, represents 60,000 guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers statewide in Nevada. The most recent Culinary Union Citywide Strike Vote was in 2018 when 25,000 workers voted to authorize a strike. Contracts were settled soon after.