The NV Independent   ·   Link to Article

As more jobs are automated, Las Vegas set to be center stage for economic shifts

That contract, negotiated between the Culinary Union and Strip casinos last year, marked the first time such an agreement ever made mention of automation — let alone the enshrinement of certain concessions and protections in anticipation of such change. 

“For us, we know it’s a challenge,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Union. “We’re learning more and more about the situation, and right now we have language to protect us, but we know we have to continue to figure out how to protect jobs. If they do slash jobs all over, what is it going to mean for us? What is it going to mean for the entire community, for the entire country?”

The Culinary Union ultimately secured a number of guarantees, including, among other protections, six-months advance notice of the implementation of new technology and free re-trainings for employees should automation or technology changes create new job — ensuring employees don’t see increased workloads should more technology enter the workplace. 

“We have to ensure that one job is going to be enough for one person,” Arguello-Kline said. “It’s not going to be that, because you have new technology or eliminate a bunch of workers, that you have that person working two people’s jobs.”

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