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Culinary Local 226 members at several prominent Strip properties are poised to finalize contract agreements with three major employers – MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Encore Resort – this week. Approximately 40,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas are set to partake in ratification votes for five-year contracts, negotiated earlier this month, according to the union.
Caesars Entertainment workers led the vote on Monday, with 99 percent in favor of ratifying the new five-year contract, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. MGM Resorts workers are scheduled to vote on Tuesday, followed by Wynn Resorts workers on Wednesday.
The ratification voting follows a high-stakes negotiation marathon between the Culinary Union and Caesars that resulted in workers clinching a tentative five-year labor deal with the casino giant earlier in the month.
“The total compensation won by the Culinary Union for MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts workers is approximately $2 billion over the total five-year contract – that’s $2 billion which will stay in Las Vegas and will benefit every community and neighborhood. Every worker will be getting a 10% wage increase in the first year and a total of 32% over the life of the new contract,” Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union, said in a statement.
“The average Culinary Union member earns about $28 an hour (including their benefits) under the previous contract, and by the end of this new five-year contract, the average Culinary Union member will be earning about $37 an hour (including their benefits) and we recognize the largest private employers in Nevada for doing the right thing and investing in the frontline workers who make the entire industry run successfully,” Pappageorge added.
Addressing reporters via Zoom on Monday, Pappageorge described the contract negotiations as ‘historic,’ citing significant wage increases, guaranteed lower workloads, protections from job-replacing technology, and added career support.
“These are historic things that we’ve never achieved in the last 30 years of negotiations, so we’re very proud of that,” Pappageorge was quoted as saying in the report.
The union announced it would disclose voting results at the conclusion of each day, clarifying that a simple majority vote is required for contract ratification.
Culinary is actively negotiating with 24 independent Strip and Downtown Las Vegas casino resorts for new contracts, representing approximately 15,000 workers. Pappageorge noted on Monday that strike deadlines might be imposed for some independent Strip operators by the year’s end, while potential strike deadlines could be declared for downtown locations in January or February 2024.
Talking about the differences in negotiations with independent Strip operators, Pappageorge, said: “These companies, the first thing we always hear is that they’re not MGM, they’re not Caesars and they’re not Wynn Resorts. However, we are expecting and we will negotiate the same economic package and the same contract.”
Downtown Las Vegas union members are anticipated to advocate for a similar contract, albeit with lower wages compared to the Strip.