Over 35,000 members of the Culinary Workers Union members employed on the Las Vegas Strip have been working without a fair labor contract, and now they’re prepared to strike. If negotiations aren’t complete by Nov. 10 at 5 AM, tens of thousands of workers are prepared to walk off the job — just before the start of the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix, which kicks off on Nov. 15 with a much-hyped opening ceremony.
The Culinary Workers Union is composed of servers, cooks, and bartenders, all of whom have remained on the job since their contract expired earlier this year, AP reports. These workers are employed at 18 casinos, including many operated by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts.
Daniel Busby, a cook at a restaurant inside the Paris Las Vegas resort, says he and other Culinary Union members simply want to share in the wealth that Strip casino companies have been raking in.
“The companies are making record-breaking profits with fewer workers,” Busby says. “It’s really important for us to have a better future for our families. Our families deserve health care. I’m willing to strike if necessary.”
TheStreet also dove deeply into the issues that union members are looking to address, which also include safety concerns for housekeepers and reduced workloads for an already overburdened staff.
The actual race itself could proceed without a significant impact from the strike; however, the overall race weekend experience is critical to one's enjoyment of an event. It's possible fans staying at one of the 18 impacted casinos could have their impression of the weekend darkened by their inability to order room service or stop by the bar.
This is yet another stumbling block in a Grand Prix event that has already been deeply fraught. Residents of Nevada and Las Vegas workers have expressed their frustration about living in the city as it’s transformed for the international event, which has included repaving roads, erecting both permanent and temporary event structures, and “misleading” ticket deals for locals. Tourists have begun tearing down protective films on pedestrian bridges that are designed to block views for anyone who didn’t shell out $2,500 for a grandstand seat, and the Taxicab Authority Board has added a flat $15 fee to all cab rides as a way to encourage drivers to work during what is sure to be a chaotic weekend.
It’s understandable, then, that casino workers are looking to strike should they not be fairly compensated for what is set to be an even greater workload amidst a frustrating shutdown of the city and their regular paths to work. These workers deserve a fair contract that represents the work they perform, and they deserve it before flocks of F1 fans roll into town.
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