The Culinary Workers Union announced on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that 99% of votes favored the new five-year deal.
“Best contract ever! Congratulations to 10,000 hospitality workers!” the post said.
The union is also expected to approve its proposed contracts with Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International, the sector’s largest employer, later this week.
The breakthrough deals were initially reached earlier this month, just hours before the union threatened a widespread strike at 18 hotels and casinos on the Strip, including the Bellagio, Paris Las Vegas, MGM Grand and Caesars Palace.
Ted Papageorge, the union’s chief negotiator, said in a statement that workers were willing to accept a pay cut if the union went on strike. He said they sacrificed their free time over seven months of negotiations to help secure historic pay increases and other key gains, including a reduced domestic workload and improved job security amid advances in technology.
“Nothing was promised or guaranteed, and thousands of workers who participated in marches, protests, civil disobedience, sit-ins, surveys, put up picket signs, strike votes, and delegations within estates have sacrificed to win a better future for themselves and our families.” Papageorge, himself a former union worker in the hospitality industry, went on strike in 1991 with 500 other employees at the now-closed New Frontier Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas.
It became one of the longest strikes in US history, extending for more than six years. All of the strikers subsequently returned to their jobs with back wages and benefits, the union said.
Now, Papageorge said the union has secured a 32% pay increase for its members over five years, with workers getting a 10% pay increase during the first year of their new contract. He said a total of about $2 billion would come from casino companies by the end of the decade.
The contracts cover more than 35,000 employees at properties along the Strip owned or operated by Caesars, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts.
By the end of the decade, unionized workers will earn an average of $35 an hour, including benefits, Papageorge said. Union workers currently earn about $26 an hour with benefits.
In his statement, Papagioorg thanked casino companies “for doing the right thing and investing in the front-line workers who make the entire industry run successfully.”
In separate statements released when the deals were reached, the companies said the contracts recognize union workers for their contributions to the companies’ success, with historic wage increases and growth opportunities linked to plans to bring more union jobs to the sector.
The strike by employees of the three companies was a historic event, both in size and timing.
The union — the largest in Nevada with about 60,000 members statewide — had threatened to strike less than a week before Formula 1 was scheduled to debut at the new race track on the Strip.
Experts said the effects of putting tens of thousands of workers out of work would have been immediate: reduced room cleaning operations. Dirty and unpolished floors. Neglected landscapes. Slow service in restaurants and bars. Long wait in valet parking. Room availability is limited.
The Culinary Union’s strike threat added to a big year for labor unions, including strikes in Hollywood that brought the film and television industry to a historic standstill, contentious UPS negotiations that threatened to disrupt the nation’s supply chain, and an ongoing strike by hotel workers at Detroit’s three casinos, including… Including the MGM Grand Detroit.