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Contract Dispute Puts Las Vegas Strip Hospitality Workers on Edge

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, October 23, 2023 9:12 pm

Las Vegas, NV – Tensions are escalating on the Las Vegas Strip as a protracted contract dispute continues to strain the relationship between hospitality workers and major resorts. The Culinary Union, representing these workers, has been engaged in negotiations with MGM, Caesars, and Wynn Resorts for the past six months, with a looming strike deadline.

Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge voiced the union’s concerns, stating, “We’ve been negotiating with MGM, Caesars, and Wynn resorts for the last six months, and their strike deadline time is now.” Union members are ready to take action if no resolution is reached.

Negotiations are currently in their second round, and Pappageorge stressed that the clock is ticking for the companies to find a middle ground. “We are hoping in the next round of negotiations that we will see some significant movement by these companies, and if not, then there will be a strike date and, unfortunately a strike,” he added.

MGM Resorts was the first company to meet with the union on Monday. Negotiation sessions are also scheduled with Caesars Entertainment on Friday and Wynn Resorts on Monday, October 30.

Adding to the complex situation, hospitality workers from Detroit, who are already on strike, are in Las Vegas this week in a show of solidarity. “We are standing in solidarity with our brothers in Las Vegas as they are standing in solidarity with us in Detroit,” said Jamil Johnson, a server at MGM Grand Detroit currently on strike. “We’re fighting for respect. We are the workers who helped these companies weather the storm of the pandemic. They have made boatloads of money on the backs of our hard work. We just want our fair share.”

In the absence of progress, Pappageorge made it clear that Las Vegas workers are prepared to join the strike effort. He emphasized their commitment to collective bargaining and cooperation with fellow union members.

To intensify their message, union members plan an informational picket along the Strip on Wednesday. In the evening, around 75 members are expected to engage in a display of civil disobedience, taking over multiple lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard between the Bellagio and Paris hotels.

“Our goal is to send a message to these companies that it’s time to bargain, and they have not made their moves, and they haven’t done the right thing,” Pappageorge asserted. “They have the opportunity to fix this, but they’re running out of time.”

When asked about the timing of a potential strike, Pappageorge kept it discreet, saying, “I don’t think we’re interested in the company knowing what our plans are. I think right now our plans are to bargain very hard and to work very closely with our brothers and sisters in Detroit. They’re showing us the way. But it does mean that the time is near.” The situation remains fluid, and the eyes of Las Vegas are on the outcome of these critical negotiations.

Credits: Fox 5 Vegas

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