After working without a contract since September 1 and authorizing a strike on December 8, members of Culinary Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 in Las Vegas came within just six hours of walking off the job at the Las Vegas Convention Center before securing a new contract with foodservice supplier Sodexo on March 10.
Umbrella union organization Unite Here announced that it reached a four-year agreement with Sodexo on wages, benefits, and job security only three days ahead of the largest convention and trade show to come to Las Vegas since the Covid pandemic receded. Roughly 400 unionized foodservice workers were planning to not staff the triennial Conexpo-Con/Agg event, North America’s largest construction show, taking place March 14 to 18 at Las Vegas Convention Center with 130,000 registered participants.
In January, union members considered not staffing the 115,000-person CES show and the 50,000-person World of Concrete show at LVCC; ultimately, they did work those events. But in February, union members picketed near the entrance to the 80,000-person MAGIC Las Vegas Fashion Trade Show while their colleagues worked the event.
According to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “this new contract...sets clear goals regarding worker retention, job training, advance notice of technology implementation and automation, and a severance package,” said Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the culinary union. Paul Pettas, a spokesperson for Sodexo, added that the deal ensures wage increases for non-gratuity foodservice workers, who were making between $16 to $19 per hour under the previous contract, in addition to expanded health benefits and better access to pensions. “This deal will ensure increased economic vitality for the individuals who have careers with us at the Las Vegas Convention Center,” Pettas noted.