The Las Vegas Culinary Union recently held a picket aimed at three casino juggernauts – MGM Resorts, Ceasars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. According to the union’s Secretary-Treasurer, Ted Pappageorge, the possibility of a strike looms if they fail to reach a consensus during the upcoming bargaining sessions.
The union, representing a contingent of 53,000 workers, has been embroiled in negotiations with the resort companies since April, aimed at establishing a new worker contract. The demands put forth by the union include workload reductions, safer working conditions, the highest pay raise in the union’s history, and protections against certain emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.
Daniel Busby, a member of the union, voiced his dissatisfaction saying, “We deserve a contract, we deserve better wages. My pay is not enough to cover all my bills.” In the wake of the pandemic, with room rates soaring 30% higher than pre-crisis levels, Busby pressed that they deserved a raise in line with the increased pace of the city.
Christy Equipado, a cocktail server reiterated their battle cry for a “fair and safe contract.” She emphasized, “That is all we want – fair wages and safety.”
The recent picket is representative of possible strike action, showcasing what could be on the horizon if the union leaders opt to call one. Previous contract extensions have already been voted out, with authorization granted for a strike. The recent bargaining sessions with the resort companies failed to make any notable progress.
Pappageorge expressed his frustration with the resort companies stating “None of them have made any significant movement. If we don’t get any real settlement, then we will end up having large strikes with all three companies.”
Thursday saw Vice President Harris meeting Pappageorge alongside other union members, highlighting the gravity of the situation.