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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Caesars, Las Vegas workers reach deal easing strike threat

By Ian Kullgren Bloomberg

 A powerful Las Vegas hospitality union struck an agreement with casino owner Caesars Entertainment Inc., the first breakthrough in a months-long labor standoff that threatened to upend one of the nation’s largest tourist economies just before it hosts a major grand prix and the Super Bowl.

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 said Wednesday it had reached a tentative labor pact with Caesars, laying the foundation for similar agreements with two other companies, MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts Ltd. The union had set a 5 a.m. deadline Friday for the companies to agree to their demands or face a strike of more than 40,000 workers across three dozen casinos and resorts.

Hotel and gaming owners badly need a deal ahead of the Formula One race weekend starting Nov. 16, the first time the sport has returned to Las Vegas in four decades and is projected to bring in $1.2 billion. The Super Bowl in February is expected to rake in another $500 million for the city.

Workers had been laboring under expired contracts for nearly two months at 18 resorts on the Vegas strip, including at the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and the MGM Grand.

Caesars called the deal a “landmark agreement” for the nearly 10,000 Unite Here members, citing wage increases and “continued opportunities for growth tied to our future plans to bring more union jobs to the Las Vegas Strip.”

The hospitality standoff is the latest in a string of high-profile labor disputes fueled by a tight labor market, high inflation, and record corporate profits that have covered the health care, Hollywood, and auto industries.