Photo Credit: Culinary Workers Union

On May 22, an overwhelming majority of members of the Culinary Union in Las Vegas voted to go on strike when their current contract ends on May 31. The decision impacts 50,000 servers, bartenders, guest room attendants and cooks, and includes properties operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Boyd Gaming.

Richard Broome, Caesars Entertainment executive vice president of communications and government relations, said: “Caesars expects to reach an agreement with the Union on or before June 1 when the current contract expires.”

A representative from Wynn Resorts said, “The Wynn Las Vegas agreement with the culinary unions does not expire until 2021. Our agreement remains in place and consequently we are not subject to a strike vote.”

Union officials reported that 99 percent of the 25,000 who cast ballots voted in favor of the strike measure if an agreement isn’t reached in the next eight days.

Ongoing negotiations include salary, job security and workplace safety, including sexual harassment policies. Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline said, “We support innovations that improve jobs, but we oppose automation when it only destroys jobs.” She added, “Our industry must innovate without losing the human touch. That’s why employers should work with us to stay strong, fair and competitive.”

MGM released this statement, indicating that it hopes to find a solution before the end of the contract: “MGM Resorts and the Culinary Unions have always been great partners. We have issues to address, but we’re confident we will find mutually beneficial solutions to all our contract issues.”

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released the following statement: “Our resort partners and their union representation have traditionally maintained a good working relationship. We continue to monitor the situation, but are not directly involved in negotiations and are respectful of the collective bargaining process.”