As the meetings industry prepares for this year’s IMEX America on October 17-19 at Mandalay Bay, a potential citywide strike is brewing.
Las Vegas hospitality workers affiliated with the Culinary and Bartenders Unions have voted to authorize a citywide strike. Ninety-five percent of those voters chose to authorize the strike as negotiations continue. The Culinary Union alone represents 60,000 hospitality workers, 53,000 based in Las Vegas.
A strike will impact 22 casino resorts on The Las Vegas Strip. This includes properties managed by MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, and Wynn/Encore Resorts.
The Unions will be holding back-to-back negotiating sessions this week with these three groups. The White House weighed in on the situation and issued the following statement:
“If these gaming companies don’t come to an agreement, the workers have spoken, and we will be ready to do whatever it takes — up to and including a strike,” said Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “Workers brought every single one of these companies through the pandemic and into a great recovery, and workers deserve a fair share. Companies are doing extremely well, and we are demanding that workers aren’t left behind,” he added.
“Las Vegas has a long union history, and workers have been critical to the city’s growth and success. As the Culinary and Bartenders Unions continue contract negotiations, we urge the discussions to move forward in good faith and hope both sides come to an agreement that preserves the city’s high-quality hospitality jobs and gives all workers the quality of life they deserve,” said Robyn Patterson, the assistant White House press secretary.
How a Strike May Impact Conventions and Events
IMEX is monitoring the situation. “We’re hopeful that a strike won’t take place, but have also been assured by MGM that they have a very strong contingency plan in place should anything happen whilst we are in Las Vegas,” said Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.
If confirmed, a citywide strike would impact several business events, including HLTH (October 8-11), TwitchCon (October 20-22), and SEMA (October 31-November 3). Major public events, including the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix (November 16-18) and Superbowl LVIII (February 11), have a lot to lose if a strike does happen.
The www.VegasTravelAlert.org website monitors labor disputes in Las Vegas featuring regular updates on labor disputes.
Biltmore Los Angeles Reaches Agreement
In other strike news, UNITE HERE Local 11 and the Biltmore Los Angeles have reached a tentative agreement. The Biltmore Los Angeles joins the Westin Bonaventure in achieving settlements with their workers.
The 300 workers at the Biltmore Los Angeles will soon get wage increases, improved pensions, healthcare, and more.
Strikes continue at dozens of other Los Angeles hotels. Properties impacted include the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton LA Live, Beverly Hilton, Fairmont Miramar, and Anaheim Hilton.
Photo credit: Culinary Workers Union / Local 226