Culinary Union Reaches Tentative Deal with MGM Resorts

Following threats of a strike and two days after the contracts of thousands of casino workers expired, the Las Vegas culinary union negotiators have today announced that they have arrived at a tentative 5-year deal with MGM Resorts International. The contract caters for about 24,000 workers at 10 different casino resorts sites on the Las Vegas Strip.

“BREAKING. We are pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached with @MGMResortsIntl,” read the late-night announcement that was posted on Twitter. “The historic new 5-year contract covers approximately 24,000 workers at 10 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.”

Bethany Khan, the union spokesperson confirmed that the deal had indeed been reached with MGM spokesperson, Mary Hynes, opting to defer any questions about the deal to the union.

Unfortunately, the deal does not cover the smaller casino operators and thus the strike may still be underway as they have not made any known efforts to reach agreements with the union. If it happens, the strike will be the first citywide strike in over 30 years.

Developments or Distractions?

There has been a lot of debate regarding the moves that the union has been making especially in the past few days. First, with 50,000 workers primed to strike as soon as their five-year licenses expired on last Friday at 12.01 am, the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 canceled any strike and ordered the workers to remain on their jobs. A little more than a couple of hours later, the Culinary Union announced that it had come to an agreement with Caesar Enterprises, a casino operator that employs only 12,000 of the union’s 50,000 members.

By so doing, the union explicitly defied the mandate of its members who voted by an overwhelming 99 percent to authorize a strike against the casino and resort operators who have shown little to no intention of budging to the workers’ demands for a freeze in real wages and other concessions. Also, no dates have been set for the strike yet.

In case the contract agreement sticks, Caesars Enterprises’ Las Vegas Strip properties will not be affected by the strike. These include Bally’s, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, The Linq and Caesars Palace, and Nobu, as well as the off-Strip Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.

On the same note, in case the union’s deal with MGM Resorts International holds and turns out to be permanent, the walkout will not affect its properties: Aria Resort & Casino, Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Circus Circus Hotel & Resort, Excalibur Hotel & Casino, Luxor Hotel & Casino, MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Mirage, New York-New York Hotel & Casino, Mandalay Bay, including the Delano and Park MGM.

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