Las Vegas casinos avert strike threat as three major companies reach labor agreements

In a crucial turn of events, three major casino companies in Las Vegas successfully navigated labor negotiations with the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, averting the looming threat of a strike that could have impacted 5,000 workers. 

The involved companies—Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and MGM Resorts International—have all reached deals, ensuring labor peace in one of the nation’s premier tourist destinations.

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 revealed a “tentative agreement” for a new five-year contract with Wynn , thereby diffusing the tension just ahead of the Friday deadline. This development comes on the heels of similar labor agreements achieved by Caesars and MGM Resorts earlier in the week.

MGM CEO William Hornbuckle stated: “We’re pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that averts a strike, gives our Culinary union employees a well-earned boost to pay and benefits and reduces workloads – all while continuing to provide opportunities for growth and advancement.”

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 refrained from immediate commentary on the specifics of the Wynn agreement. However, it was anticipated that the terms aligned with the demands set in the prior contracts with Caesars and MGM. 

These demands included substantial wage increases, the restoration of daily room cleaning to create jobs, and safeguards against emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence.

The timing of these agreements is crucial, coinciding with the city’s preparations to host the Formula One Grand Prix scheduled to commence on November 16. This Grand Prix is expected to attract 100,000 visitors, generating a substantial $1.3 billion in economic activity. Furthermore, Las Vegas is set to host the Super Bowl in February, projecting an additional $500 million influx.

The labor dispute, rooted in expired contracts at 18 resorts on the Vegas strip, including iconic establishments like MGM Grand, Bellagio, and Caesars Palace, had been a prolonged affair. The resolution brings a sense of relief not only to the affected workers but also to the broader Las Vegas community.

This series of labor agreements in Las Vegas is emblematic of a broader trend in 2023, where unions across various industries have been leveraging the tight labor market to secure better deals.