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Las Vegas Unions and Caesars Strike Deal to Avert Strike

Hospitality worker unions in Las Vegas have reached a tentative agreement just two days before a potential strike. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, affiliates of Unite Here, announced a five-year contract agreement with Caesars Entertainment. The deal, covering 10,000 workers, includes meaningful wage increases and opportunities for growth.

Last week, it was announced that 35,000 union members from 18 hotels along The Strip were prepared to strike, potentially impacting the city’s economy.

Negotiations with MGM and Wynn are scheduled for the coming days. Housekeepers, bartenders, cooks, and food servers at the three companies have been in talks since April over demands for higher wages, improved safety measures, and stronger recall rights.

The properties in Las Vegas owned by Caesars include Caesars Forum, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, and The Linq.

In September, the union passed a strike authorization vote with 95 percent support. Recently, workers have picketed outside the major hotels, advocating for better pay.

In a series of rolling walkouts, thousands of hospitality workers from various hotels in Southern California have been on strike; in Michigan, employees at MGM Grand Detroit have also been on strike since mid-October.

Ted Pappageorge, the head of Local 226, expressed that the aim was to avoid a strike and that they were cautiously optimistic about reaching agreements with the major chains.

As Las Vegas prepared for the potential strike, preparations were underway for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, an international auto race, and the National Finals Rodeo in early December.

The Culinary Union, which represents 60,000 hospitality workers in Nevada, has been influential in state and national politics. In 2020, union members played a critical role in President Biden’s narrow victory in the state.

Ahead of his re-election campaign next year, President Biden trailed former President Donald J. Trump by 10 percentage points in the state in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll.

During a visit last month, Vice President Kamala Harris commended the workers as the “true champions for working people.”

Lynnette Curtis contributed reporting.

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