Ahead of Friday's strike

Culinary Union reaches tentative five-year contract with Caesars Entertainment

Reading time 1:43 min

Following a high-stakes negotiation marathon, the Culinary Union, representing approximately 60,000 hospitality workers in Nevada, has clinched a tentative five-year labor deal with Caesars Entertainment

The development comes before a strike deadline that had the potential to trigger a widespread walkout at several major hotel-casinos along the iconic Las Vegas Strip on Friday. The tentative agreement averts a strike of the company’s roughly 10,000 union members just before the area hosts the inaugural Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Negotiations between the Culinary Union and Caesars Entertainment unfolded over an intense 20-hour stretch, resulting in a deal that the union has described as "historic" and "life-changing." While the specific terms of the agreement remain undisclosed, the Culinary Union has positioned it as a monumental step forward for its members, including cooks, bartenders, waiters, waitresses, and housekeepers.

The nine Caesars Entertainment-owned casinos directly impacted by the potential strike, now covered by the tentative deal, encompass Caesars Forum, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, and The Linq. 

The Culinary Union's negotiation strategy has been centered around securing favorable terms related to wages, benefits, job security, and working conditions for its membership.

Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union, expressed confidence in the deal being approved by members, stating: "We're very confident that they'll accept this deal. It is historic in nature." Despite this optimism, Pappageorge refrained from disclosing specific wage increases, citing ongoing negotiations with other major casino operators in Las Vegas.

Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union

The Culinary Union's negotiations hold significance against the backdrop of an overarching trend of increased union activities across the United States. According to Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, there have been 348 strikes in the country so far this year, marking a 56% increase from the same period in 2021.

The union is also negotiating with other major Las Vegas casino operators, namely MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts. The union has set a strike deadline of 5 a.m. local time on Friday.

The outcomes of the negotiations hold critical importance, determining whether the city faces a widespread strike affecting its vital hospitality sector. The potential strike, if not averted, could have substantial implications for the city's economy, particularly given Las Vegas's upcoming events. 

The city is poised to host its first Formula One Grand Prix race on November 16-18, and the strike could disrupt the anticipated influx of visitors. The Culinary Union's successful negotiation with Caesars Entertainment serves as a potential blueprint for deals with other casino operators, offering hope for resolution in the eleventh hour.

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