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Good timing

With the Super Bowl coming to town, the last thing Las Vegas needed was a casino workers strike. Fortunately for everyone involved, it appears that strikes will be averted, as Culinary Local 226 said it has come to agreements with all but one of the casino-hotels with which it had yet to do so. The one holdout, Virgin Las Vegas, has been given more time to work with the union.

Contracts were hammered out on Friday and Saturday with the Rio, Main Street Station, Fremont, Binion’s, Four Queens, Golden Nugget, and Downtown Grand. The unions, Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, had authorized strikes to begin at 5:00am Monday morning if agreements were not reached.

That deadline had already been pushed back from last Friday morning. Before that original deadline, the unions struck deals with El Cortez, the Plaza, D Las Vegas, Circa, and Golden Gate in Downtown Las Vegas, and the Strip’s Sahara.

Improved benefits, conditions for workers

The situation was similar to what went on in the fall, when workers at MGM, Caesars, and Wynn-owned properties were prepared to strike before the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. Like in that case, the culinary union believes it made significant advances for its members, including better safety measures, increased wages, a daily minimum housekeeping requirement, and protections from technology that could replace people’s jobs.

“These were tough negotiations and it took over two years of preparation, 10 months of negotiations, lots of hard work, committee meetings, sleepless nights, and worker-led organizing,” Culinary Secretary Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement on Sunday. “No victory in our union’s history is ever guaranteed and thousands of workers who participated in rallies, protests, civil disobedience, picketing, surveys, picket sign making, strike voting, and delegations inside the properties sacrificed to win a better future for themselves and our families. Culinary Union members comprise a major component of Nevada’s middle-class and in these negotiations, we proudly won our fair share of record profits by securing historic protections and billions in raises for working families in Nevada.”

The Culinary Union represents tens of thousands of hospitality workers in Las Vegas, including cocktail and food servers, laundry workers, guest room attendants, bellmen, porters, cooks, and kitchen workers.

Well over 300,000 visitors are expected in Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII, plus 6,000 accredited media members from 26 countries. The championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers is a rematch of four years ago, when the Chiefs defeated the Niners, 31-20. It is the first time Las Vegas has hosted the big game.

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