Caesars Entertainment, Culinary Union Tentatively Agree to Deal

Posted on: November 8, 2023, 09:44h. 

Last updated on: November 8, 2023, 10:47h.

Culinary Union representatives announced Wednesday they tentatively agreed to a new five-year contract with the nine Las Vegas properties owned by Caesars Entertainment.

Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg
Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg, pictured above. His company agreed to a tentative contract with the Culinary Union just days before a threatened strike. (Image: CNBC)

Word of the agreement comes two days before a firm strike deadline for the hospitality workers. The approximately 10K rank-and-file union members will have to vote on the offer to make it official.

The deal came after 20 straight hours of closed-door negotiations. The two sides have been meeting for seven months.

Details on the tentative agreement are expected to be released later on Wednesday.

Previously, the Culinary Union revealed it was negotiating for wage increases, workload reductions, increased safety, job protection from automation, and recall rights, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Strike Threat Continues

So far, two other casino companies, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts, have yet to reach an agreement with the union. Some 25K Culinary Union members at those properties still plan to strike on Friday if a suitable contract isn’t ironed out.

As of early this week, union members were assembling picket signs in anticipation of the possible work stoppage.

Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge recently said there was movement in negotiations, but he didn’t indicate a settlement was possible with Caesars Entertainment. News of the settlement comes days before the highly anticipated Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. The race is scheduled to take place between November 16 and 19.

Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg said in an earnings call last week he was hopeful that new contracts could be reached with the union members.

You’ve heard me say before, we have done quite well as a company post-merger, post-pandemic, and our employees should and will participate in that,” Reeg said. “So, you should expect that when we reach an agreement on a contract, it’s going to be the largest increase that our employees have seen in the four decades since we started interacting with the Culinary Union.”

Some 35K Las Vegas hospitality workers have been working without a contract since September. About 95% of the workers previously authorized a strike.

Detroit Strike Continues

Across the country, 3,700 workers have been on strike at three Detroit gaming properties — Hollywood Casino at Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino Hotel — since October 17. Workers are urging people not to enter the three casinos.

Health care costs are among the issues on the table, with management seeking to have workers pay $40 toward health care premiums. The prior offer was $60. The union wants workers to continue without paying any premium, according to a video posted by the United Auto Workers on X.

Late last week, the union also revealed that management offered workers a $1.95 per hour increase during the contract’s first year. The union wants the hourly increase to be $3.25.