Vegas Strip Could Loss Millions as Strike Deadline Nears

Las Vegas is preparing for a possible strike by over 50,000 casino-hotel employees if representatives from 34 casino and hotel properties along the famous strip of Sin City and the Culinary Union local 226 cannot come to an agreement.

A spokesperson for the union, Bethany Khan, said on Wednesday that there have not been any tentative agreements reached with any of the casinos, adding that the preparations for a citywide strike were continuing.

The largest union in the city, and one that is very vocal, is made up of over 50,000 workers at hotels and casinos including kitchen workers, maids and security. Their contracts are scheduled to expire on May 31 at midnight.

Last week the union took a vote with 99% of those voting, supporting the granting of leaders of the union authority to call a strike if agreements are not reached.

The strike would start June 1 and potentially cripple operations for the major casinos and hotels including Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts properties.

Union workers have been adamant that the contracts of five years be renegotiated and rewritten to increase salaries, better address issues of today and ensure additional job security.

Aside from the assurances that advancing technology is not going to replace human workers, other union members are demanding benefits be increased and safety protections put in place including a policy that is tougher in addressing the allegedly rampant sexual harassment as well as abuse hotel workers say is faced at the hands of guests and patrons.

In a poll taken internally of 10,000 members of the union, 59% of the cocktail servers and 27% of housekeepers at hotels said they were sexually harassed by managers, guests and others while working.

Individual unions at casinos have authorized this strike before, but the last citywide major strike was in 1984 lasting 67 days and costing hundreds of millions of dollars to the city in revenue.

Internal analysts of the union, project that a strike of 30 days would cost Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts as much as $300 million.

One analyst in the industry said that he expects the impact would be far bigger now than back in 1984 because of how much the industry as a whole has grown and there were over 30,000 workers just on the strip then and now there are more than 60,000.

Tourism in general will take a huge hit if the strike occurs, as the city attracts people to not only gamble and go to shows, but to other local attractions.

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