MGM Resorts Workers Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract

Posted on: November 22, 2023, 08:53h. 

Last updated on: November 22, 2023, 11:03h.

Hospitality employees at Las Vegas’ MGM Resorts strongly voted Tuesday for a new labor agreement. When the votes were tallied, 99% of Culinary Union members voted for the five-year deal.

An unnamed MGM Resorts worker
An unnamed MGM Resorts worker happily holds up a ratification ballot at a union meeting on Tuesday, pictured above. The workers overwhelmingly approved the deal. (Image: KTNV)

The contract gives salary increases and improved work conditions to some 25,400 hospitality workers.

One of these workers, Melissa Peterson, a cocktail server at the Bellagio, called the new contract “amazing for everyone that works here.”

“It just lifted the morale of all of my coworkers. We’re all so happy,” she was quoted by Las Vegas TV station KTNV.

Salary Increases

Each Culinary Union worker at the properties will receive a 10% salary increase during the first year of the agreement, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That’s retroactive to last June.

In total over five years, it will work out to a 32% increase, the Review-Journal reported.

Unionized workers governed by the contract at MGM include housekeepers, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, as well as laundry and kitchen workers.

Risk From Technology

It was revealed this week that under the contract, MGM properties need to give six months prior notice if new forms of technology will lead to job losses, KTNV reported.

Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, noted the potential job risk associated with artificial intelligence.

AI learns, and if it’s introduced now, but there’s no effect, and later there is one that could eliminate jobs, we’re able to go back, and our language kicks in,” Pappageorge explained to reporters on Tuesday, KTNV reported.

The contract also includes more training opportunities for unionized workers, many of whom are trying to advance their careers.

Workers at Caesars Entertainment properties overwhelmingly approved their new contract on Monday. On Wednesday, hospitality workers at Wynn Resorts are scheduled to vote on their tentative agreement.

The Las Vegas contracts were initially agreed to by representatives from the Culinary Union after months of meetings with management. A threatened November 10 strike was avoided by last-minute settlements.

If contracts are ratified by Wynn workers, the Culinary Union’s next step is to negotiate with other Las Vegas properties. Pappageorge wants to see the same economic package that was reached for the three large companies to be applied to contracts for other properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

With regard to Las Vegas downtown properties, the union is advocating for the same wage increases. Downtown properties traditionally have paid less to workers than hotels and casinos on the Strip.

Across the country in Detroit, workers at Hollywood Casino at Greektown and MotorCity Casino voted over the weekend to ratify a five-year contract. Workers at MGM Grand Casino remain on strike.