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Las Vegas union reaches deal with Caesars, averting strike

Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s Caesars Palace casino stands in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jacob Kepler | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Culinary Union, which represents thousands of hospitality workers in Las Vegas, said on Wednesday it had reached an agreement with Caesars Entertainment over a new labor deal, two days before a strike deadline was set to expire.

The Las Vegas unions, considered among the most powerful in the U.S., are demanding higher wages, stronger protections against new technology that may threaten jobs, a reduction in steep quotas for housekeepers as well as improved safety.

The deal with the casino major covers about 10,000 employees, and the union is negotiating with rival operators MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts ahead of the Friday, Nov. 10 deadline for a strike.

Caesars Entertainment did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the agreement.

Casino-resort operators have reported record profits as tourism to Las Vegas steadily recovers from the pandemic.

Visits to the city were just 7% lower than in the same period in 2019 before the pandemic, in August 2023, according to data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. However, room rates are more than 30% higher than at that time.

The city is also gearing up for major events including the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix in November, which is expected to draw more than 100,000 tourists.

The Culinary Workers and Bartenders Unions have been negotiating for about seven months, and 95% of their members voted at the end of September to authorize a citywide strike.

MGM has said every 1% increase in wages will equal about $10 million of additional labor costs, according to Truist analyst Barry Jonas. He estimated that wage increases could increase annual costs by $40 million to $60 million for Caesars, and double that amount for MGM, based on their employee figures.

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