Las Vegas could be shut down by strike of over 50,000 workers

There are calls for better security and an end to harassment

Las Vegas could be shut down by strike of over 50,000 workers

View of the hotel and casino Bellagio (L) and Caesars Palace (R) on Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas | Image: Alexandra Schuler/DPA/PA Images

Tens of thousands of casino workers in Las Vegas could walk off the job, after voting for strike action.

Members of the Culinary Union, which represents over 57,000 people, voted to authorise the strike next month.

It could shut down several Las Vegas resorts.

The union says contracts covering 50,000 workers expire on June 1st at 34 casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas.

This includes properties operated by MGM, Caesars, Penn National, Golden Entertainment and Boyd Gaming.

The union negotiating committee has been authorised to call for a strike "at any time" after the contract expires - meaning workers could  walkout as soon as June 1st.

Those involved in the strike vote include bartenders, guest room attendants, cocktail servers, food servers, porters, bellman, cooks, and kitchen workers.

Members of the Culinary Workers Union, Local 226, applaud during a presentation before voting on whether to authorise a strike in Las Vegas | Image: STEVE MARCUS/AP/Press Association Images

Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer for the Culinary Union, said: "Over eight decades, casino workers in Las Vegas have been faced with the same decision: Show up or give up.

"You either show up and fight for what you deserve, or you give up and take whatever the company gives you.

She said workers "are going to fight for security" and "not going to be left behind" as companies make record profits.

Jocelyn Egbalic, a cocktail server at the Rio, said: "We are demanding an end to harassment in the workplace.

"Casino corporations cannot continue to normalise sexual misconduct by high rollers and customers in Las Vegas.

"The company must take responsibility and work with the Culinary Union to fight sexual harassment and keep us safe.

"I always do my best to provide excellent service, but I shouldn’t have to endure harassment - or worse - from guests who think they can abuse us just because they are on vacation."

The Culinary and Bartenders Unions have proposed new contract language to give greater security for members: including workplace safety, sexual harassment, subcontracting, technology, and immigration.

Back in 1984, thousands of Culinary Union members went on a city-wide strike for 67 days until contracts were settled.