A potential strike that could have crippled the Las Vegas Strip was averted when Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts was able to cut deals with the Culinary and Bartenders Unions.
And in a party and entertainment town like Las Vegas, that’s huge.
“It was a long, long fight,” Alberto Rodriguez, who works as a cook at Mandalay Bay, said of negotiations.
“It is so exciting,” Deanna Virgil, uniform attendant at Wynn Las Vegas added. “And I am so happy.”
It certainly happened at the last minute. The final agreement left to sign, with Wynn Resorts, came about three hours before the strike deadline on Friday. And it was settled before the highly anticipated Formula 1 race on November 16-18.
Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said it was worth the holdout.
“These are the best contracts ever,” he said. “We think that there will be overwhelming acceptance.”
The union still has to ratify and accept the deals when it votes coming up this week. It was estimated that the five-year deal will bring the average salary to about $35 per hour. There are about 30,000 workers in the union.
And in a day and age of robotic bartenders, the contract brings protections against artificial intelligence.
“We know the combination of robotics and AI, without some sort of regulation and also some sort of guidelines that companies have to follow,” Pappageorge said. “We think it would be incredibly damaging to workers.”
Indeed, while a robotic bartender might look cool it comes at the expense of a real live human being. The union was also able to negotiate a severance rate of $2,000 for every year worked for employees.
The Formula 1 race is expected to start a huge tourism boom in Las Vegas over the next several months.
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