We’ve been following the threat of a Las Vegas strike for about a month now. We even reported that an agreement had been reached. Apparently however, that agreement wasn’t quite as agreeable as we were told. And now, the Culinary Union in Sin City has drawn a line in the sand.
November 10th is the date set for a the strike to begin, and the fact that the workers plan to walk out just six days before the Las Vegas Grand Prix is no coincidence. The workers know that a city-wide strike would throw the entire town and the race into chaos. So, well played… well played.
Reports are that 35,000 workers (down from the 50,000+ originally reported) will begin a Las Vegas strike next Thursday. The threat of huge disruptions to the city could have an enormous economic impact, and drastically impact operations at 18 casinos across the city.
Nevada’s largest labor union, consisting of about 60,000 members, hasn’t gone on strike in several years. A Las Vegas strike would be the latest in a series of high-profile labor disputes all around the country. Negotiations in Sin City have been dragging on since April, with the primary disputes over pay and working conditions.
Ted Pappageorge, the union’s chief contract negotiator, is asking tourists and those attending the Formula 1 race to support the workers position by not coming to Las Vegas or crossing the picket lines. Sounds like a nice gesture, however naive. No one who paid at least $1,500 per ticket (and has been planning to see this race for months) is staying home. Sorry.
Formula 1 did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. We suspect they will get their money either way. The Las Vegas strike will affect business and tourists at these casinos: Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Park MGM, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Horseshoe, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, The Linq, and Wynn and Encore Resorts.