Wynn contract agreement with Culinary ends fears of a strike on the Strip 

10 November 2023

Wynn Resorts and Culinary Workers Local 226 reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract early Friday morning, hours before picket lines would have gone up in front of the company’s two Strip hotel-casinos.

The announcment follows similar contract negotiations achieved this week between the Culinary and its affiliated Bartenders Local 165 with Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International, which averted what would have been the first mass walkout of non-gaming union workers on the Strip in 39 years.

The tentative agreements, which will need to be ratified by employees at the 18 casino resorts operated by the three companies, cover more than 40,000 workers and establish the benchmark for the union to open contract talks with dozens of other resort operators in Las Vegas.

The agreement with Wynn covers 5,000 workers at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.

“After 7 months of negotiations, we are proud to say that this is the best contract and economic package we have ever won for in our 88-year history,” Culinary Secretrary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a joint statement from the union and Wynn that mirrored remarks earlier this week.

Contract language was not released, but as in announcements this week with Caesars and MGM, the union said the agreements include the substantial wage and benefit increases over the five-year period, workload reductions for guest room attendants, the reinstatement of daily hotel room cleaning, increased safety protections for workers on the job and expanded technology contract language.

Pappageorge said earlier this week that daily room cleaning became a strike issue during the Legislature earlier this year because Culinary-backed Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo approved the repeal of a pandemic-era law that mandated that all hotel rooms be sanitized on a daily basis.

In the joint statement, Wynn Resorts spokesman Michael Weaver said company employees deserved to work in an environment “in which they feel valued and well compensated.”  

He said the contract agreement with the unions, “fulfills our shared goal of providing outstanding benefits and overall compensation to our employees in a work environment that is second to none.”

Wynn Resorts officials did not discuss the status of the contract negotiations with the Culinary during the company’s third-quarter conference call Thursday afternoon. 

However, Wynn CFO Julie Cameron-Doe said the company budgeted for increased payroll costs covering union and non-union employees during the recently completed three-month period and heading into 2024.

The agreement with Wynn was announced at 2 a.m., three hours before a strike, which was overwhelmingly approved by workers in September, would have clogged areas around the properties less than a week before the start of the three-day Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix.

The Culinary and Bartenders have been in contract talks with the three companies since April to negotiate new five-year deals. The previous agreements signed in 2018 expired at the end of May but extensions were reached while the unions continued talks with Wynn, Caesars and MGM throughout the summer.

Pappageorge did not say when contract discussions with other gaming companies would begin.

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