After a landmark agreement at dawn on November 8 between the Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas hotel employees union, a tentative contract is slowly forming for the 20,000 hospitality employees at MGM Resorts International. Speaking of which, professionals say it would almost surely defeat the unparalleled strike on The Strip.
Solving problems with workers:
Commenting on the said contract, Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts, said to the investors during the call about income, while discussions were happening in the casino’s ballroom: “I believe we will come to a deal today. We know from listening to our employees that they are looking for a pay increase to combat inflation, among other concerns. This deal, when announced, will do just that.” However, the Culinary Workers Union has made threats to go on strike before dawn on November 10, if the talks fail.
Furthermore, the tentative deal mentioned above seem to give the union the momentum it needs to reach new agreements for each of its 35,000 members who were doing their jobs under contracts that became void at the 18 hotel-casinos. In this regard, University of Nevada Las Vegas associate professor, Bill Werner, whose research involves labor relations and hospitality law, commented: “As soon as one company reaches a deal, the others just fall right in line. I would say this is as close as we’ve come in a long time to an actual strike.”
Tentative deal with Caesars made after 20-hours of bargaining:
Relatedly, the union commented: “The breakthrough pact with Caesars came after 20 straight hours of bargaining that began Tuesday and stretched into Wednesday morning.” Additionally, in a statement, Caesars said: “The agreement recognizes the integral contributions our Team Members have made to the success we have seen in Las Vegas over the last few years with meaningful wage increases and opportunities for growth tied to plans to bring more union jobs to the Strip.”
The tentative contract, which is awaiting validation by the union’s file and rank, would cover assets that involve the firm’s leading Harrah’s, Paris Las Vegas, Horseshoe, Caesars Palace and Flamingo, Linq, Cromwell and Planet Hollywood.
On a related note, Joshua Guray, found in front of Caesars Palace on November 8, in a conversation with The Associated Press said that he had arrived from Los Angeles on a morning flight and intended to stay in Las Vegas “less than 24 hours.” The only thing on his agenda was a dinner reservation with a companion at one of his most loved restaurants – Bacchanal, a deluxe buffet in Caesars Palace. He also said: “I didn’t know that tens of thousands of hotel workers were in the middle of contract negotiations before I planned his trip. But if a tentative contract hadn’t been reached and a strike coincided with my travel plans, I would have ditched my dinner reservations. I try to stand in solidarity with other workers. Life can be hard out there so I understand what they’re fighting for.”
A spokeswoman for the union, Bethany Khan, said that conditions of its contract with Caesars will be “made public“ as soon as they are validated. The vote is projected to occur during the next days.
A potential strike could negatively impact the Las Vegas economy:
An all-out walkout could still take place if the union cannot reach agreements with Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts by 5 AM on November 10. Talks with Wynn Resorts are slated to take place on November 9. However, a potential strike by Wynn and MGM employees could have major negative consequences for the Las Vegas economy. It could upend business as usual at some of the popular hotel-casinos that are getting ready to play host to the thousands of people who will come to the city over the next week to watch the Formula 1 launch on The Strip.
Moreover, the strike would also be the newest in a streak of “high-profile actions” country-wide in what has been a significant year for labor unions. These involve UPS’ contentious negotiations that had the potential to upend the nation’s supply chain, an ongoing strike by hotel workers at 3 Detroit casinos involving MGM Grand Detroit and the walkouts in Hollywood.
Relatedy, the Las Vegas’ Grand Prix course will include a stunning views of a number of casinos in danger of labor strikes, such as Excalibur, Aria, Luxor, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, Encore and Wynn resorts and New York-New York. On that note, hospitality employees commented: “We will strike for as long as it takes to get fair contracts — from the housekeepers and utility porters who work behind the scenes to keep the Strip’s mega-resorts humming, to the bartenders and cocktail servers who provide the customer service that has helped make Las Vegas famous.” In addition, Mandalay Bay guest housekeeper, Tiffany Thomas, said: “I am fighting for my family and future hospitality workers. I am willing to go on strike because I have a 10-year-old daughter who comes to negotiations with me, and she is going to inherit all of this. I refuse to sit back and watch what we’ve built crumble. I want my daughter to look at me and know I fought for a better future.”
Negotiations began in April:
Negotiations officially began in April over wages, job security, benefits and working terms. However, they have intensified during the recent months following the event in which a large part of union members voted to permit the strike two months ago, aka in September. After the vote, large rallies were held, involving 1 in October, which finished when 58 employees, who were stationed on the street and managed to halt rush hour traffic on one of the Strip’s most famous parts, were detained. But, according to the employees, it was a “show of force“ that occurs prior to any possible strike.
Speaking on the matter, Khan said: “Members currently receive health insurance and earn about $26 hourly, including benefits. The union hasn’t revealed what it has been seeking in pay raises because we do not negotiate in public.” However, the union said: “We are negotiating the largest wage increases in its history.” Also, the workers added: “We want better job security amid advancements in technology, as well as stronger security protections, including more safety buttons on casino floors.”