Culinary union strike authorization vote scheduled for Tuesday in Las Vegas

Hospitality workers in Las Vegas will vote on whether to authorize a strike
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:32 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A union strike vote scheduled for Tuesday could have a major impact on the hospitality industry in Las Vegas.

At 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, tens of thousands of members of the Culinary and Bartenders Union will vote on authorizing a strike. The unions have yet to reach a new contract agreement with their employers, including top Las Vegas resorts.

“We are united, we are organized, and we want better for each and every one of us because we all deserve it,” said Margaret Jaramillo, a union member and food server at MGM Resorts. “The companies have made an astounding amount of money. Why? Because of us workers.”

“They are setting records in revenue, visitation, room rates are 30% higher than they were pre-pandemic, and these companies are making a ton of money, and they’re going to have to share that money,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary Treasurer and Chief Negotiator for the union.

The union is asking for the largest wage increases they’ve ever had to keep up with inflation, workload reduction, especially in housekeeping, safety against workplace violence, and job protections amid technology advances and AI.

Pappageorge said the union has more bargaining sessions planned next week with the hotel ownership groups to try and reach a fair agreement. “This is an opportunity for these companies to do the right thing the week of October 2. And we hope to get a fair contract, but one that’s going to move people forward, not just keep up,” said Pappageorge. “And if not, there may be a strike.”

Union leadership emphasized that they’d like to avoid a strike if possible, but if the contract dispute does reach that point, the strike could have a huge impact on many large Las Vegas resorts.

“We hope that we don’t get to that point of a strike, but right now, we have been in negotiations with over 22 properties on the Strip, represented by MGM, Caesars, and Wynn Resorts, and those would be the first that would be affected by a strike. Then we have another additional set of independent employers on the strip and downtown, and they would come after that,” said Pappageorge.

Wynn Resorts had no comment on the union’s upcoming strike authorization vote.