Las Vegas: Union hospitality workers at MGM overwhelmingly approve new five-year contract deal

Unionized Las Vegas hospitality workers at MGM Resorts International, totaling more than 25,000 employees, have voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying a new five-year contract with the casino giant. The vote, with an impressive 99% in favor, solidifies the agreement.

The agreement follows broader negotiations that the hospitality unions have been holding for months with the “big three” Strip resort companies—MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment.

The three major casino companies reached tentative agreements with Culinary Workers Union Local 226 early this month, ensuring labor peace in one of the nation’s premier tourist destinations. These agreements, crucial for avoiding disruptions such as a strike impacting 5,000 workers, were a key factor in ensuring the smooth conduct of the recent Las Vegas Grand Prix race.

A notable aspect of the contract includes specific provisions to safeguard workers in the face of technological advancements, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence, KTNV reported. If technological progress leads to job losses, resort companies are obligated to provide a six-month notice, and affected workers will receive benefits for job training and financial compensation of $2,000 for each year of service with the company.

The Las Vegas unions, renowned for their negotiating strength, secured additional concessions earlier this month, including mandated daily room cleaning and enhanced safety measures for workers.

On Monday, members of the Culinary Union employed by Caesars Entertainment also overwhelmingly voted in favor of ratifying a new five-year labor agreement, with an impressive 99% approval. Now, following Tuesday’s vote at MGM, Wynn Resorts union members are scheduled to cast their votes on the ratification of their contract on Wednesday.

“The total compensation won by the Culinary Union for MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts workers is approximately $2 billion over the total five-year contract – that’s $2 billion which will stay in Las Vegas and will benefit every community and neighborhood. Every worker will be getting a 10% wage increase in the first year and a total of 32% over the life of the new contract,” Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Union, said in a statement early this week.

“The average Culinary Union member earns about $28 an hour (including their benefits) under the previous contract, and by the end of this new five-year contract, the average Culinary Union member will be earning about $37 an hour (including their benefits) and we recognize the largest private employers in Nevada for doing the right thing and investing in the frontline workers who make the entire industry run successfully,” Pappageorge added.

Meanwhile, in a parallel development, unionized casino workers at MGM Grand Detroit rejected a proposed five-year labor deal, extending their month-long strike.