Thousands of Vegas casino workers to vote on citywide strike - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Thousands of Vegas casino workers to vote on citywide strike

Posted: Updated:

By REGINA GARCIA CANO
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Tens of thousands of casino workers in Las Vegas whose contracts expire next week were preparing to vote on whether to authorize a strike, a move that could leave more than 30 properties without unionized housekeepers, bartenders, servers and other key employees.

A majority of yes votes Tuesday would not immediately affect the casinos but would give the union's negotiators a huge bargaining chip by allowing them to call for a strike at any time starting June 1.

Here are some key things to know about the vote:

WHO IS VOTING?

Bartenders, housekeepers, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks and other kitchen workers employed at 34 properties are eligible.

The Culinary Union expects between 20,000 and 25,000 members to vote Tuesday at a university arena. The voting will take place in two sessions, allowing workers with different shifts to cast a ballot.

WHERE DO THEY WORK?

They work at properties on the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas, including Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Stratosphere, Treasure Island, The D, Downtown Grand and El Cortez.

MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment operate more than half of the properties that would be affected by a strike.

WHY ARE THEY VOTING?

The contracts of 50,000 unionized workers expire at midnight May 31, and the casinos and union have not reached meaningful agreements since negotiations for five-year contracts began in February.

"On May 22, thousands of union members will show casino employers that workers are going to fight for security and that they are not going to be left behind as companies are making record profits and getting windfall tax breaks," Geoconda Argüello-Kline, union secretary-treasurer, said in a statement earlier this month.

WHAT DO THE WORKERS WANT?

Argüello-Kline previously told The Associated Press that the union planned to negotiate with companies to protect existing benefits, increase wages, protect job security against the increasing adoption of technology at hotel-casinos, and strengthen language against sexual harassment.

The union has asked casino operators to give every housekeeper a "panic button," a wireless device that can alert managers if they are in a threatening situation.

WHERE DO THE COMPANIES STAND?

MGM Resorts and Caesars have said they would work with the union to equip housekeepers at their Las Vegas casino-resorts with panic buttons.

Both companies previously said they are confident they will be able to reach mutually beneficial agreements with the union.

HAS THIS HAPPENED BEFORE?

Yes. The last citywide strike vote took place in 2002, when the overwhelming majority of 25,000 workers authorized the action. But workers never walked out of their jobs because casino operators and the union reached agreements.

The last time casino workers across Las Vegas went on a strike was in 1984, and it lasted 67 days. Union members lost an estimated $75 million in wages and benefits, while the city lost a similar amount in tourism revenue. Millions more were lost in gambling income.

___

Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO .

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Pope on sex abuse: "We showed no care for the little ones"

    Pope on sex abuse: "We showed no care for the little ones"

    Monday, August 20 2018 4:34 PM EDT2018-08-20 20:34:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia). Pope Francis delivers a blessing during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018.
    Pope Francis has issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and cover-up and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of...More >>
    Pope Francis has issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and cover-up and demanding accountability, in response to new revelations in the United States of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.More >>
  • Report: Experts knew Genoa bridge had weakened 20 percent

    Report: Experts knew Genoa bridge had weakened 20 percent

    Monday, August 20 2018 4:30 PM EDT2018-08-20 20:30:42 GMT
    (Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP). A view of the partially collapsed Morandi highway bridge, in Genoa, Italy, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. The unofficial death toll in Tuesday's collapse rose to 43 Saturday.(Luca Zennaro/ANSA via AP). A view of the partially collapsed Morandi highway bridge, in Genoa, Italy, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018. The unofficial death toll in Tuesday's collapse rose to 43 Saturday.
    Firefighters in the Italian city of Genoa have suspended an operation to allow evacuated residents to retrieve their belongings from homes under a bridge that partially collapsed, after workers heard creaking...More >>
    Firefighters in the Italian city of Genoa have suspended an operation to allow evacuated residents to retrieve their belongings from homes under a bridge that partially collapsed, after workers heard creaking noises coming from the structure.More >>
  • Brief Korean reunions bring tears for separated families

    Brief Korean reunions bring tears for separated families

    Monday, August 20 2018 4:30 PM EDT2018-08-20 20:30:19 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Aug. 17, 2018, photo, Lee Soo-nam, 76, shows photos of his brother Ri Jong Song in North Korea during an interview at his home in Seoul, South Korea. Lee is among about 200 war-separated South Koreans and their family...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Aug. 17, 2018, photo, Lee Soo-nam, 76, shows photos of his brother Ri Jong Song in North Korea during an interview at his home in Seoul, South Korea. Lee is among about 200 war-separated South Koreans and their family...
    Elderly South Koreans have traveled to the border with North Korea ahead of family reunions with relatives in the North they've been separated from since the Korean War.More >>
    Elderly South Koreans have traveled to the border with North Korea ahead of family reunions with relatives in the North they've been separated from since the Korean War.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms