Deadline extended for 10 casinos to Monday

Three Downtown Vegas casinos secure labor deals amid union strike deadline extension

Reading time 2:21 min

Three downtown casinos owned by Derek Stevens have successfully negotiated a tentative five-year contract with Culinary Union Local 226. The agreement, involving nearly 800 union staffers at The D, Golden Gate, and Circa, is pending ratification, with a vote expected to be announced shortly.

Approximately 2,600 union members employed at Downtown and certain Strip resorts were poised for a strike at 5 a.m. on Friday in the absence of agreements with property operators. However, the union decided to extend the strike deadline for the 10 downtown properties until 5 a.m. on Monday, offering additional time for negotiations.

The original Friday deadline remains for three autonomously operated properties on the Strip and off-Strip – Rio, Sahara, and Virgin, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. 
Contract negotiations are scheduled for Friday with officials at the Rio.

The Plaza also reached a tentative agreement early Wednesday morning for its 250 unionized workers, becoming the first downtown property to do so.

Despite altered deadlines, Culinary plans to commence continuous picketing of all 13 unsettled properties from 10 a.m. Friday through 10 p.m. Saturday. It is essential to note that this demonstration is not a strike, though the union emphasizes its request for customers to refrain from crossing the picket line on Friday and Saturday.

The union initially set a strike deadline earlier this month strategically, one week before the region hosts Super Bowl 58, anticipating an influx of approximately 330,000 visitors for the national event. Negotiations with downtown employers commenced in mid-January, following the solidification of the deals with Strip properties and after the holiday season.

“We’ve been working hard since last year to win historic contracts, but we aren’t done yet. It’s time for workers to get a fair contract and have security for themselves and their families. Corporations are making record profits and workers deserve to have record contracts,” Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the union, said in a news release, as per the report.

“Workers at the other Strip independents and downtown deserve the same wage increases, benefit protections, safety and technology language, and reductions in workloads as the rest of the Las Vegas Strip and they are organized and ready to fight for it.”

Union officials are actively engaged in discussions with employers, aiming to establish a "historic" contract similar to the gains achieved with the Strip's three largest employers last fall. These gains encompass increased wages and benefits, a daily housekeeping requirement, protections from job-replacing technology, workforce safety measures, and more.

Citing sources close to the negotiations at a downtown property, the report said economic aspects and daily housekeeping requirements as the primary sticking points. Concerns have been raised regarding the challenging labor market for guest room attendants.

In November, members ratified deals with MGM Resorts InternationalCaesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts after threatening to strike several days before the Formula One race, putting pressure on operators to finalize the contract agreement.

Culinary officials have called the new contracts historic for their significant wage increases, guaranteed lowered workloads, technology protections, and career support. Each full-time, non-tipped employee at those companies will get roughly $3-an-hour raise in the first year, and tipped workers will get a raise of roughly $1.50 hourly, leaders previously said.

According to the union leadership, the terms include a 10% wage increase in the first year and a cumulative 32% raise throughout the contract's duration, resulting in an average wage of $37 per hour. The total compensation for employees across the three companies is projected to reach $2 billion over the next five years.

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