Las Vegas Sun

July 14, 2024

Wynn Resorts reaches deal with Culinary in Las Vegas to avoid strike

Casino Exteriors

Steve Marcus

A view of the Encore and Wynn resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, Dec. 26, 2017.

Culinary Union Local 226 will not be striking against any of the three major resort companies on the Las Vegas Strip.

The union agreed to a tentative five-year contract for hospitality workers at Wynn Resorts about three hours before this morning’s strike deadline, union officials said.

After seven months of negotiations, new five-year contracts were tentatively approved Wednesday for Caesars Entertainment and Thursday for MGM Resorts International.

The threat of a strike has been looming over Las Vegas as it prepares to host next weekend’s inaugural Formula One auto race, a major event bringing 170,000 people to town with major economic implications. The Culinary Union has not staged a strike in Las Vegas in more than 20 years.

Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, echoed comments from earlier in the week in labeling the new deal “the best contract and economic package we have ever won in our 88-year history.”

The deal, which still must be ratified by members, includes the largest wage increases ever negotiated by the union, workload reductions for guest room attendants, mandated daily room cleaning and increased safety protections for workers, the union said.

“With this new union contract, hospitality workers will be able to provide for their families and thrive in Las Vegas and we applaud Wynn Resorts for agreeing to a great union contract which will ensure workers are protected with the best health care benefits, highest wage increases ever, and union job security,” he said in a statement.

Wynn and Encore combined have about 5,000 workers who are in the Culinary and Bartenders unions. The union said it would not disclose specifics of the contract until members had a chance to see the full details and vote on it.

“We strongly believe that only the most talented and empowered employees, working in an environment in which they feel valued and well compensated, can deliver our signature Wynn and Encore guest experiences,” Michael Weaver, a spokesperson for Wynn Las Vegas, said in a statement provided by the union. “Therefore, we are very pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with Culinary Workers Union Local 226 which fulfills our shared goal of providing outstanding benefits and overall compensation to our employees in a work environment that is second to none.”

Union members were at the bargaining table Thursday for an extended negotiating session that lasted through the night, announcing the deal at 2:26 a.m. Friday. That was 152 minutes before workers were authorized to stage a strike.

A joint statement announcing the deal included prepared comments from workers praising the proposed contract.

“It brings me great joy to able to call my co-workers in the morning and let them know that we got the best contract ever,” said union member Christine Cook, a uniform control attendant at Wynn. “My favorite part about the new contract is the wage increases and the retroactive pay because it will help my family and I have a better future and achieve our dreams.”