(NEW YORK) — Hotel and restaurant workers in Las Vegas reached a tentative agreement with Wynn Resorts on Friday just hours before a deadline, averting a strike against casino owners that could have disrupted the tourist industry ahead of a Formula 1 race next week that’s expected to attract thousands of visitors, the union said.
The tentative deal sets working conditions for 5,000 employees at two Wynn Resorts locations, and comes on the heels of similar agreements with Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International that covered roughly 35,500 workers.
The Culinary Workers Union said in a statement Friday that the five-year contract includes the largest wage increases ever negotiated in its 88-year history, as well as increased safety protections, workload reductions for some workers, and expanded use of technology.
The tentative agreement, which must be ratified by a majority vote of the union members, ends seven months of negotiations with Wynn, according to a statement from Ted Pappageorge, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union.
“With this new union contract, hospitality workers will be able to provide for their families and thrive in Las Vegas,” Pappageorge said.
Similarly, Wynn Las Vegas applauded the tentative deal in a statement.
“We look forward to ratification of our agreement soon, and to providing the legendary service for which our employees are known to the thousands of race fans about to join us,” said Michael Weaver, a spokesperson for Wynn Las Vegas.
The union said that contract negotiations remain ongoing with 24 smaller hotels and casinos where a total of roughly 18,000 union members work.
The tentative agreement with Wynn Resorts comes amid a flurry of labor deals nationwide in recent weeks that have ended prolonged workplace disputes.
SAG-AFTRA, the union representing approximately 160,000 actors, voice talents and announcers, reached a tentative deal on Wednesday with major TV and movie studios that suspends a strike launched more than three months ago.
Additionally, the ‘Big Three’ U.S. automakers — Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which owns Jeep and Chrysler — struck tentative agreements with the United Auto Workers last month to end a roughly six-week strike.
Addressing UAW members at a car plant in Illinois on Thursday, President Joe Biden celebrated the recent wave of labor organizing.
“Wall Street didn’t build America,” Biden said. “The middle class built America, and unions built the middle class.”
“I worked hard in negotiations to represent my co-workers and to win a better life for my family,” Araceli Villa Lobos, a kitchen employee at Wynn and a union member for 16 years, said in a statement.
The Culinary Workers Union represents 60,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, and is “Nevada’s largest Latinx/Black/AAPI/immigrant organization,” the union said, with the majority of its members Latinx.
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