Fifty-thousand unionized Las Vegas casino workers whose contracts will expire at the end of the month are set to vote on whether to go on strike.
The Culinary Union on Wednesday said it will hold a strike vote May 22 at a university arena.
The workers' existing contracts will expire at midnight May 31. Negotiations for new five-year contracts began in Feb.
A majority of yes votes would allow the union's negotiators to call for a strike at any time starting June 1. A strike would empty 34 casino-hotels of cooks, food and cocktail servers, housekeepers and other workers.
“[We’re] sending the message to the companies that we are going to fight for security,” Culinary Union Secretary-treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline said. “We want to be ready in case we need [to strike].”
“MGM Resorts and the culinary and bartenders unions have always been great partners. We have issues to address, but we're confident we will find mutually beneficial solutions to all our contract issues," a MGM Resorts International spokesperson said.
Caesars Entertainment and Boyd Gaming did not return requests for a comment on the contract negotiations Wednesday.
“The casinos should definitely be concerned and take the steps they have to take,” Director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research David Schwartz said. “Workers by the same token should be working to try to resolve [the labor dispute] before it reaches a strike.”
“If someone booked a trip to Vegas for months or even years in advance and their hotel has disruptions they'll remember that so both sides want to avoid that,” Schwartz said.
Labor contracts for workers at the 34 properties listed below expire June 1. Today the Culinary + Bartender Unions announced plans to vote on whether to strike if negotiations don’t pan out by the deadline. pic.twitter.com/MDWUop7lNr— Abby (@abbytheodros) May 10, 2018
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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