As Las Vegas prepares to handle more than 100,000 spectators per day for Formula 1 Grand Prix racing November 16 to 18—along with its expected $990 million in visitor spending, nearly 40 percent more than a Super Bowl—both owners and employees of hotels along the Strip are breathing a sigh of relief in the wake of tentative labor agreements reached this week.
A strike deadline of Friday, November 10 was set two months ago by Culinary Union Local 226, which represents more than 40,000 housekeepers, cooks, bartenders, and waitstaff across Caesars, MGM, and Wynn properties. Caesars Entertainment struck a tentative five-year deal early on Wednesday with their 10,000 culinary union members after a final bargaining session that lasted 20 consecutive hours, said the union. And on Thursday, Local 226 announced on social media that it had come to terms with MGM Resorts for more than of its 25,000 members over the next five years. The contracts are pending approval by the union’s rank and file.
The average culinary union member in Las Vegas makes about $26 per hour in pay and benefits, according to the union. The new contracts will deliver a roughly $4-per-hour raise immediately, with other raises coming over the life of each deal.
The one hotel group yet to reach an agreement with the culinary union as of November 9 was Wynn Resorts, which operates the Wynn and Encore properties. However, negotiations were taking place that day, and the union said it is “cautiously optimistic” on reaching a deal. Further, a Wynn Resorts spokesperson told Las Vegas television station KTNV that “we have had productive bargaining sessions with the union...We are working to reach an agreement soon.” Negotiations between the union and the Strip hotels began in April.