Nevada's Culinary Worker's Union Local 226 announced plans last week to begin a strike ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix if a deal was not reached with three major casino and resort ownership groups by November 10. On Friday, the union announced separate tentative agreements with all three groups to avoid a strike before their deadline.
The averted strike is great news for Formula 1 and its partners for the event, all of which were at risk of hosting one of its most anticipated events ever without 35,000 of the staff that make the casinos and resorts surrounding the race track run. If the strike had occurred, 18 different properties owned by Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts, and Caesars Entertainment around the city would have been without bartending staff, kitchen staff, and other key hospitality employees at the same time those resorts were offering million-dollar all-inclusive race weekend packages to guests.
Although the union's contracts had already expired earlier in the year, the union waited to threaten a strike until just before the grand prix weekend. By giving casino owners little time to come up with a backup plan in case negotiations stalled, the union put immense pressure on the groups to come to a quick deal. That pressure was only compounded by the looming Super Bowl in Las Vegas, another major event just three months from this weekend. Had a strike dragged on that long, major properties around the area would have been forced to operate without key staff for two of the biggest events in the history of the city.
Formula 1's Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend begins with an opening ceremony early next week. The event should be much more glamorous than the original attempt to bring F1 into the city, although the race itself may be much colder than the series anticipated when planning the race.
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