Las Vegas Strip hospitality workers plan “civil disobedience” rally for contract talks

Hospitality workers will stage another rally on the Las Vegas Strip this week, with 75 union members planning “civil disobedience” actions to exert pressure on hotel and casino employers for negotiations on a new five-year contract.

A four-hour picket and traffic disruption is scheduled at the Bellagio and Paris Las Vegas on Wednesday, Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Single-lane closures will commence at 4 p.m., with picketers assembling at both resorts at 5 p.m.

Around 6 p.m., approximately 75 hospitality workers will engage in a “non-violent protest action,” blocking multiple lanes of traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard. These actions are concurrent with ongoing negotiations between the Culinary Local 226 union and three major Las Vegas hospitality employers: MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts.

Contracts expired in September, and a strike authorization vote held by the union saw 95 percent of members supporting a strike if necessary. Approximately 40,000 members are currently working under expired contracts and would be the first to strike if such an action is called.

This marks the second picket organized by the Culinary Union on the Strip this month, with workers having previously picketed in front of Paris and other hotels on October 12. Thousands of industry workers took to the Las Vegas Strip to picket in front of eight different casinos. Members of the Culinary Workers Union, clad in red T-shirts, took to Las Vegas Boulevard, and hoisted signs, chanting their demands for contracts.

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 is one of the largest and most prominent unions in the country. The workers demonstrated in front of properties amid ongoing contract negotiations between the union and the three casino giants. This was the first time in nearly two decades that thousands of Culinary and Bartenders Union members picketed on Las Vegas Boulevard.  

As per Vegas Eater, the Culinary Union represents 60,000 workers across Nevada, out of which 53,000 members are based in Las Vegas. The strike authorized last month could impact 22 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. As per the union, hospitality workers are seeking new contracts that include provisions such as pay increases, reduced workloads for housekeeping workers, expanded safety measures, health care, and job security in case of another pandemic or economic crisis. 

The move to authorize a strike means that bartenders, cooks, cocktail and food servers, guest room attendants, porters, bellmen, laundry, and kitchen workers statewide could hit the picket line or strike at any time.