MGM Resorts reaches historic labor deal with Las Vegas unions, averts strike

By Doyinsola Oladipo and Ananta Agarwal

(Reuters) -The unions representing hospitality workers in Las Vegas on Thursday reached a tentative deal with MGM Resorts International for a new contract, less than 24 hours before a strike threatened to shut down the Strip.

The culinary workers and bartenders Unions said that 25,470 workers have a new five-year tentative agreement with MGM. The agreement averts a strike on Friday at eight MGM properties and comes a day after rival Caesars Entertainment reached a deal with 10,000 workers.

Unions across industries are pressing employers for better pay and benefits, buoyed by a shortage of workers. Casino resort operators have been earning record profits from a steady post-pandemic recovery in Las Vegas tourism.

“After seven months of negotiations, we are proud to say that this is the best contract and economic package we have ever won … in our 88-year history,” Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union, said in a statement.

“We’re pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that averts a strike, gives our Culinary Union employees a well-earned boost to pay and benefits and reduces workloads,” Bill Hornbuckle, MGM chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The Las Vegas unions, considered among the most powerful in the United States, said they also successfully negotiated mandated daily room cleaning and increased safety protections for workers.

Shares of MGM were down 1.5% in morning trading.

MGM workers in Detroit have been on strike since mid-October.

Caesars Entertainment, the second-biggest Las Vegas casino operator after MGM by number of employees, said that its deal with the unions provides “meaningful wage increases.” The union called the tentative deal “historic.”

Wynn Resorts has yet to yield an agreement ahead of Friday’s strike deadline but said it has negotiations scheduled with the unions on Thursday.

Visits to Las Vegas in September were 4% lower than in the same period in 2019, the year before the pandemic, according to data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Room rates, however, have surged more than 47%.

(Reporting by Ananta Agarwal in Bengaluru and Doyinsola Oladipo in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur)


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