(GMM) A threatened strike by Las Vegas hospitality workers looms over the upcoming Formula 1 race, threatening to disrupt the event.
The glitzy city, set to host a grand prix down the iconic strip next weekend, could witness one of the largest hospitality worker strikes in US history if a contract deal isn’t reached, NPR reports.
The Culinary and Bartenders Union has indicated that 35,000 members employed by major casinos and hotels might strike from November 10. Their contracts with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts have been a subject of negotiation for seven months.
Union secretary-treasurer Ted Pappageorge stated, “Their current proposal on the table is historic, but it’s not enough, and workers deserve to have record contracts.”
Hospitality giants have largely remained silent during the dispute, with Wynn Resorts’ Michael Weaver opting to reserve comments for the negotiation table. MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment did not respond to a request for a statement.
The standoff comes just as the Formula 1 race weekend is set to begin on November 16, expected to bring a significant influx of tourists to Las Vegas. The event, promoted by F1 itself, marks the sport’s first return to the city in over 40 years and capitalizes on the sport’s growing US popularity.
Race attendees are being urged by the Culinary Union not to cross picket lines. Formula 1 has yet to comment.
Tens of thousands of Las Vegas hotel workers fighting for new union contracts set a strike deadline on Thursday, threatening the inaugural F1 race in 2 weeks.
The Culinary Workers Union said about 35,000 members whose contracts expired earlier this year are ready and willing to walk off the job if deals are not reached by November 10 with casino giants MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts.
Related Article: Las Vegas GP reaches agreement with Culinary Union
That is five days before the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, which is expected to bring thousands of people to the Strip, is set to kick off with an opening ceremony.
At a news conference, Ted Pappageorge, the union’s secretary-treasurer and chief contract negotiator, urged tourists and Formula One ticket-holders to support the workers if they go on strike by not coming to Las Vegas or crossing the picket lines.
“We will be communicating to ask customers that they should take their business elsewhere,” he said.
Mr Pappageorge also said the union is in “great shape” to provide financial support to striking members.
“We’re going to be able to take care of these workers,” he said.
Nevada’s largest labor union, with about 60,000 members state-wide, has not gone on strike in decades.
A walkout would be the latest in a series of high-profile labor unrest actions around the country – from walkouts in Hollywood to UPS’ contentious negotiations that threatened to disrupt the nation’s supply chain – and would follow hospitality workers walking off the job last month at Detroit’s three casinos, including MGM Grand Detroit.
In Las Vegas, the 18 properties that could be impacted by a strike are: 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.