Hotel Employees in Las Vegas: Strike for Higher Wages

Protests for better working conditions in Las Vegas have escalated as workers at Virgin Hotels continue their strike for an improved five-year contract with better wages and benefits.

Over 700 members of the Culinary Union staged a staggered strike over the weekend in response to the hotel’s refusal to renew their contract, which expired nearly a year ago. Ted Pappageorge, the union’s secretary-treasurer, stated that the 48-hour work stoppage sends a clear message that the company must act in the best interest of its employees.

Negotiations between the union and the hotel are set to resume this Tuesday. The Culinary Union, the largest in Nevada, represents workers in various sectors including laundry, kitchen, servers, bellmen, and valets. The strike over the weekend impacted all major areas of the hotel, including housekeeping, food and beverage, and several unionized restaurants.

Last year, Culinary and Bartenders Union members voted to authorize a strike in all Las Vegas hotels. More than 50,000 workers have secured contracts that offer the best working conditions in history, a feat that Virgin Las Vegas workers hope to achieve.

According to The Associated Press, the last time unionized culinary workers went on strike was in 2002 at the Golden Gate hotel/casino in downtown Las Vegas. Virgin Hotels filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board last week, accusing the union of not negotiating in good faith. Pappageorge denied the accusation.

The union had previously authorized a city-wide strike just before Las Vegas hosted the Super Bowl. However, an agreement was eventually reached with hotel-casinos for around 40,000 workers, and an additional 10,000 in other establishments. The workers at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas are determined to continue their fight for better working conditions and fair treatment.