With the knowledge that casinos bring in most of the tourism that Vegas sees, it was a bold and powerful move for the catering and bar tending unions to threaten their respective casinos with a strike if they didn’t reach a contract agreement. The negotiations had been in the works for over a year, with the workers for dining and bar tending services in casinos throughout the entire city working without benefits or contracts. Since it’d become apparent that the superiors were not going to work toward an agreement without some serious kicks in the pants, the unions took action. And, it would seem, it has paid off!
At the end of April, the unions informed the executives representing the food and beverage staffing portion of at least nearly half a dozen casinos that if negotiations were not reached by June 1st, every employee would walk off the job at 5 AM that day, and not return until an agreement was reached. This seemed to get the attention of the corporate offices in a way that nothing else – including picketing and protesting – had. Five of the hotels, resorts, and casinos that were forcing their employees to work without contracts have now reached agreements.
The Golden Gate, Four Queens, Binion’s, Plaza, and Las Vegas Club joined a number of other casinos that had already previously worked out deals with their employees for moving forward. The agreement with these five casinos in particular were reached just in the nick of time, too, with just a day or two each left to spare before their workers would have left them with a lot of hungry and thirsty tourists and nobody to serve them.
The secratary-treasurer of the Culinary Union that was involved in these negotiations, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, had this to say about the matter: “We are pleased that we have settled new contracts with our major employers that will allow union members to have an opportunity to provide for their families through hard work under a fair contract.” It seems that things can now get back to working order without threat of any more disruptions of this nature at least for the remainder of the season in Vegas.