MGM/Caesars Avert Strike

The Culinary Union in Las Vegas has reached a tentative five-year labor deal with MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. The deals cover some 36,000 employees and 18 of the valley’s 34 resorts, where contracts for 50,000 Las Vegas hotel workers expired last Thursday.

Bartenders, food and cocktail servers, porters and cooks at both companies must still ratify the settlement.

Yet to be resolved are agreements with several smaller casino and resort operators, and including properties such as SLS Las Vegas, Treasure Island Las Vegas and Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, as well as downtown’s Golden Nugget Las Vegas, Plaza Hotel & Casino, Four Queens Hotel & Casino, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, The D Las Vegas, Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and El Cortez Hotel & Casino.

Caesars was first to reach a new accord with the union. At that time, MGM issued a statement saying it was confident it could “come to an agreement that works for all sides.” MGM is the largest employer of union workers on The Strip.

Mike Dominguez, MGM’s senior vice president and chief sales officer, told Smart Meetings that the union’s fear of jobs being replaced by robots or automation loomed large in the company’s negotiations. Other issues include an hourly wage increase and new safety measures to protect workers from sexual harassment.

No details of the terms of the agreements have yet been disclosed.

Union workers had overwhelmingly authorized a strike. The union made hundreds of strike picket signs in preparation for a possible breakdown in negotiations. If a strike had been called, it would have been the first at Las Vegas hotels in three decades.

Culinary spokeswoman Bethany Khan and an MGM Resorts representative told Las Vegas Review-Journal a joint statement would be issued later today. Khan also said the unneeded picket signs can be repurposed and recycled.

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