For the first time in over three decade, thousand of hotel and casino workers in Las Vegas are preparing to take strike action against their employers. The strike action is being threatened due to the fact that around 50,000 workers’ contracts are due to end at the end of this month; workers say they are looking to protect their jobs going forward, as well wanting protection for their healthcare and other benefits.
The workers include room attendants, bartenders, porters, cooks and cocktail servers at thirty four casinos in Downtown Las Vegas and on the Las Vegas Strip. An estimated 25,000 members of the Culinary Union have now voted to authorize strike across the city unless employers agree to a contract deal with their employees by 1st June.
Officials from the union say they are negotiating on behalf of the workers for stronger contract with greater protection and more rights. If it goes ahead, it could affect operations in some of Las Vegas’s most famous resorts like Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand Las Vegas and Stratosphere Casino.
Thousands of workers voted on the strike action. Among them, Chad Neanover, a prep cook at Margaritaville said that he supports the strike action. He said in a statement: “We know technology is coming, but workers shouldn’t be pushed out or left behind. Casino companies should ensure that technology is harnessed to improve the quality and safety in the workplace, not as a way to completely eliminate our jobs.”
The last strike in the city, which took place in 1984, is thought to have cost around $75 million in lost revenue Geoconda Argüello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer said: “A strike is a last resort. We want to come to an agreement, but the union and workers are preparing for a citywide strike if contracts are not settled by June 1.”