Caesars, Culinary reach contract agreement ahead of strike deadline

8 November 2023

Caesars Entertainment and Culinary Workers Local 226 reached a tentative five-year agreement Wednesday morning after nearly 20 hours of negotiations and days away from a threatened strike against major Strip resorts.

The union, which had set a strike deadline for Friday, announced the deal in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, at 5:43 a.m. 

Culinary has scheduled contract talks with MGM Resorts International on Wednesday and Wynn Resorts on Thursday ahead of a union-imposed strike deadline on Friday. 

In a research note to investors following the announcement, Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli said he expects MGM and Wynn agreements will “follow in relatively short order.”

The agreement with Caesars covers roughly 10,000 non-gaming workers at the company’s nine Strip properties — Caesars Forum Convention Center, Caesars Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah’s Las Vegas, Horseshoe Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell and The Linq.

It’s unclear when union employees will formally vote on the agreement, which comes ahead of this weekend’s Veteran’s Day holiday and the Nov. 16-18 Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but in comments Tuesday, Culinary Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said the union and Caesars had agreed on a salary increase but were hammering out final details. 

“Based on [Caesars’] proposals, this would be the best contract we’ve ever had in our history,” Pappageorge said. “We’re expecting a record contract. We’re expecting that for the hard work that these workers have put in to bring these companies back from the pandemic, they are going to be able to share in that prosperity.”

During Caesars’ third-quarter earnings conference call last week, CEO Tom Reeg said the casino operator’s employees “should and will” participate in the company’s financial success.

“You should expect that when we reach an agreement on a contract, it’s going to be the largest increase that our employees have seen in the four decades since we started interacting with the Culinary Union,” he said.

Updated at 7:47 a.m. on 11/8/2023 to add background and an analyst comment.

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