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Las Vegas casino workers vote to authorize strike



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Tens of thousands of hotel and casino workers voted to authorize a strike next month at dozens of casinos and resorts if their contracts are not renewed before they expire at the end of May, the Culinary Union announced on Tuesday night.

Ninety-nine percent of the members who voted in two sessions on Tuesday preferred to authorize a strike, the union said.

The vote authorizes the union's negotiating committee to call a strike any time after June 1, and does not mean that a strike will occur throughout the city. But it could give the unions influence in the negotiations.

"A strike is the last resort, we want to reach an agreement, but the union and the workers are preparing for a strike throughout the city if the contracts are not resolved before June 1." Geoconda Argüello-Kline , secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, said in a statement.

Properties that could be affected include those owned by MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Tropicana Las Vegas and other properties, the union says. [19659004] Contracts for culinary unions and waiters in 34 casinos expire at midnight on May 31 and cover about 50,000 workers, according to the Local 226 Culinary Workers Union. They include waiters, room attendants, waiters, cooks and kitchen workers.

  Las Vegas workers vote
Culinary Union members leave the university arena after voting to authorize a strike in Las Vegas on May 22, 2018. Isaac Brekken / AP [19659010] Unions have proposed offering security for workers against sexual harassment and the use of subcontractors and technology, among other issues, said the culinary union.

"For more than eight decades, casino workers in Las Vegas have faced the same decision: show up or give up," Argüello-Kline said in a statement earlier this month. "Or you show up and fight for what you deserve, or you give up and take whatever the company gives you."

MGM said it will continue to meet with the union. "As we continue to negotiate in good faith, we are confident that we will resolve the contractual problems and negotiate a contract that works for everyone," the company said in a statement.

The last strike of casino workers across the city in Las Vegas occurred in 1984 and spanned 67 days. Union members lost an estimated $ 75 million in wages and benefits, while the city lost a similar amount in tourism revenue, the Associated Press reported. Millions more were lost in revenue per game.

  Image: Las Vegas Strip
Casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard known as Las Vegas Strip, one of the main boulevards of the city on January 1, 2013. Andia / UIG via Getty Images file [19659010] The culinary union also voted in 2002 to authorize a strike, but the workers never left their jobs because the casino operators and the union reached agreements.

The gambling industry in Las Vegas has grown since 1984, which means that more workers are needed to operate the Strip and that if there is a strike it could have an even greater impact, said Rubén García, a law professor at the University from Las Vegas, Nevada, and co-director of the university's workplace. law program.

"The industry is aware of the union's ability to conduct a long strike, and that's something they probably want to avoid," Garcia said in a telephone interview with NBC News on Tuesday before the vote was announced. .

Union member Tamara Browning told NBC affiliate KSNV of Las Vegas last week that she was fired last year after a computer application was used for guests to request room service via text message.

"Technology replaces us, we need to fight for good customer service, and technology is replacing face-to-face contact with our guests and making them feel welcome," he told the station.

The recent tax-cut bill approved by Congress and defended by President Donald Trump, a "The Culinary Union", is not lost in the union. "The union's economic proposal seeks to provide workers with an equal share. of huge anticipated cash flows from employers and Trump's windfall. "

Nevada is one of more than 20 states with "right to work" laws that prohibit agreements between unions and businesses that require all workers to join the union or pay union dues. Garcia said that despite this "this union is able to organize so that it is not a barrier to its success"

"The vote will be another evidence in terms of its bargaining power," he said on Tuesday.

The Las Vegas area saw one of the longest working actions in the nation's history, the Border Strike that began in 1991 and ended more than six years later after a buyer purchased the Frontera and will settle with the workers. The buyer planned to transform it but changed his mind. The casino was demolished in 2007 to accommodate another planned project that failed.

"I am here to show the younger generations that this is the way we fight to keep our job, job security, health benefits and to earn a raise," Lewis told The Associated Press. a public services porter at the Tropicana. "This will be a wake-up call for companies to know that we are together, we are united, we are not separated."


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