Las Vegas Casino Strikes Could be Back On, Smaller Venues’ Workers Agree February 2 Deadline
It’s strike two for Las Vegas going into 2024, as nearly 8,000 casino workers have agreed on a February 2 deadline for a new contract or they will walk out of their jobs.
The Las Vegas area’s smaller casino properties are set to face disruption in the week leading up to the 2024 Super Bowl. Some 8,000 members of the Culinary Workers Local 226 Union have said they will walk out if contract demands are not met.
In 2023, the three major operators of Nevada casinos on the Las Vegas Strip — MGM Resorts, Wynn Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment — narrowly avoided strike action ahead of that November’s Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Workers that could go on strike now include employees at Circa Casino, Treasure Island, Circus Circus, Binion’s, and Rio, out of 21 total venues.
The union’s demands center around securing historic wage increases, enhanced job security, and robust on-the-job safety protections.
“It’s time for 7,700 workers employed at 21 properties 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,” said union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge.
A History of Persistence
The negotiations between casinos and the Union have been ongoing for more than seven months, with the union preparing meticulously for a potential strike, amassing necessary supplies to maintain a 24/7 strike line outside the casinos if needed.
The Las Vegas Culinary Union has a history of hard-fought negotiations ending in victories before a strike.
In November of last year, just before the inaugural F1 Grand Prix in Las Vegas, the union successfully negotiated new contracts for approximately 35,000 casino workers at Wynn, MGM, and Caesars properties. That averted a potential strike which had been backed by a 95% vote in favor from the union members.
Negotiations then and today are set to the backdrop of a boom period for casinos and sports betting in Nevada, which has not gone unnoticed by workers in Sin City.
“Workers at the Strip, Independents, and Downtown deserve the same wage increases, benefit protections, safety and technology language, and reductions in workloads as the rest of the Strip, and they are organized and ready to fight for it,” Pappageorge said.
“No one wants to strike. But workers are serious and will strike if they have to, and the Culinary Union has their back every step of the way.”
So far, the union has reached new contract agreements for workers at The Mirage, Tropicana, Four Seasons and Palms. However that leaves employees at 21 casinos still waiting on a deal.
Negotiations will continue daily over the coming weeks, including specific days for Sahara, Trump Hotel Las Vegas, Circus Circus, and Westgate.
Unlike the previous strikes in 2023, this potential industrial action won’t just affect Sin City. Some casinos in wider Nevada, such as the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, also have unionized employees.
Pappageorge pointed out that the union is approaching its 90-year anniversary in 2025, and that it remains as strong as ever.
“Nothing in our nine decades has been easily won, and our good jobs weren’t simply handed to us,” he said.
“We made hospitality jobs in Las Vegas family-sustaining jobs with decades of sacrifice and strength, and we will continue to win what we deserve – a great union job with fair wages, job security, and the best health care benefits so that workers can continue to provide for their families.”
Not one casino operator has made public comment on the negotiations as of yet.