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Las Vegas Unions and MGM Resorts Reach Tentative Labor Agreement

Two unions representing hospitality workers announced on Thursday a tentative labor agreement with a second major Las Vegas hotel operator, MGM Resorts International, a day before a strike deadline set by the unions.

Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 said a deal had been reached on a five-year contract covering 25,400 workers at MGM Resorts, which runs eight Las Vegas properties: the Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, New York-New York and Park MGM.

The unions, which are affiliates of UNITE HERE, announced on Wednesday that they had struck a deal with Caesars Entertainment, another major resort operator in the city.

The unions said last week that their members would go on strike if an agreement with the city’s three main resort operators was not reached by Friday. The unions are still negotiating with Wynn Resorts.

The unions have been negotiating with the resorts since April. The agreement would avert a strike at MGM’s resorts, although the unions’ members still need to ratify the new contract.

Ted Pappageorge, the head of Local 226, said in a statement that with the new deal, MGM workers “will be able to provide for their families and thrive in Las Vegas.” The unions said the agreement with MGM included the largest wage increases “ever negotiated in Culinary Union’s 88-year history,” a workload reduction for some members and increased safety protections, among other benefits.

“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, the chief executive of MGM Resorts, said in a statement.

It’s not yet clear how big of a pay increase union members will receive, but Mr. Hornbuckle, told analysts on an earnings call Wednesday that a deal would result in “the largest pay increase in the history of our negotiations with the culinary union.” He added that the company would harness “technology and process improvements to help offset the incremental labor costs we expect.” The deal with the union includes some protections from new technologies that would affect their jobs.

The deals with the resort operators were reached about a week before the Las Vegas Grand Prix, a Formula 1 race that winds through the Strip, where most of the resorts are. The event promises to be a major moneymaker for the city’s hospitality industry: Mr. Hornbuckle said his company had sold more than 10,000 tickets to the event and expected to attract $60 million in extra hotel revenue that weekend.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com