Las Vegas Culinary Union to Picket Caesars, MGM Casinos This Week

Posted on: October 9, 2023, 04:11h. 

Last updated on: October 10, 2023, 12:48h.

Culinary Local 226, the union representing 53,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas, has inched closer to a possible Strip-choking strike. On Monday, it called for thousands to picket in front of eight casino resorts to pressure their owners to negotiate a deal for a new five-year contract.

The two-hour “informational” picket lines are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12 in front of Park MGM, Paris Las Vegas, and The Linq. Picketers are then expected to fan out to the sidewalks in front of Harrah’s, Flamingo, Horseshoe, Planet Hollywood, and New York-New York.

Cuinary Worers Union in a 1984 pic.
The last time the Culinary Union went on strike in Las Vegas was in 1984. (Image: Courtesy Culinary Union Local 226)

Instead of walking off the job, workers will join the picket lines before or after their shifts, according to a media release from Local 226. It asks all members of the public to “stand in solidarity with workers by not eating, meeting, or staying in a casino resort during an active picket line.”

The last time Culinary went on strike was in 1984. More than 17,000 union workers walked off the job alongside three other unions in what Local 226 called “one of the largest strikes in Las Vegas history.” Workers picketed for 67 days.

‘Disappointing’ Negotiations

Negotiations are ongoing between the union and the three largest Strip employers — MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. However, Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the union, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday that the progress made so far is “very disappointing.”

No strike deadline has yet been set. However, late last month, the unions announced that 95% of its Las Vegas restaurant and hotel workers voted to authorize a strike as their contracts expired. About 40,000 union members now work under expired contracts, according to the union, and they would be the first picket if a strike were called.

“There is now an active labor dispute with 18 casino properties across the Las Vegas Strip,” the union’s press release said, indicating that it can call a strike at “any date or time.”

The union is singling out MGM and Caesars properties first because it demands new language in its contracts’ no-strike clauses that allows the union to strike against nonunion restaurants on union properties. This is not an issue at Wynn.

Other key proposals include substantial wage and benefit increases, expanded safety and technology language, and reduced workload for guest room attendants.