Las Vegas Union Threatens Strike, Could Cripple Sin City

The largest union for gaming and hospitality workers in Las Vegas is threatening a strike if their demands aren’t met. Should the strike go ahead, as many as 50 000 workers from numerous casinos and resorts in Sin City could walk off the job. This would no doubt have a devastating effect on Las Vegas.

Las Vegas union threatens strike
The Las Vegas Culinary Union is threatening to go on strike if their demands aren’t met. Should the 50 000+ members authorize a strike, it could cripple Sin City.

Numerous Casino Resorts Would be Affected by Strike

The union in question is the Culinary Union, which is part of Unite Here. A decision on whether to strike will be made on the 22nd of May 2018. Union members will meet to vote on whether a strike is going to be authorized. If the majority of members vote in favour of striking, they will be able to initiate it at any point after the 1st of June. The 1st of June is when the worker’s current contracts expire with casinos and resorts all over the city.

In total, the contracts will end with 34 casinos and resorts in Las Vegas. These include 10 MGM locations, as well as eight belonging to Caesars Entertainment. Not all casinos will be affected though. Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian, the Palazzo and a few others will continue to operate normally. If the strike goes ahead, this will be the first time one has taken place since 1984.

Strike Demands Quite Reasonable

The Culinary Union has around 57 000 members that include cooks, bartenders, cocktail servers, food servers, porters, bellmen, and housekeepers. The union is asking that the casinos increase the wages of their member, protect the current benefits they enjoy, and take a stronger stance against sexual harassment by customers.

The union also wants housekeepers to be given panic buttons. These will alert security if housekeeping finds themselves in a difficult and threatening situation. The reason for this demand is that many casinos want housekeeping to inspect rooms that have displayed the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign for longer than 24 hours.

This was policy was made in response to the October Mass shooting, where the shooter was able to remain undisturbed in his room for several days. The union is arguing that this falls outside the scope of the work responsibilities for housekeepers and puts them at risk.