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Caesars workers approve new contract; votes on MGM, Wynn coming this week

Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer and chief negotiator for the union, said Caesars showed leadership by going first.

“Workers were ready to strike and that's critical,” he said earlier today. “There has to be an understanding that if we don't get what we need in the contract and the companies aren't willing to step up, that workers are prepared and organized and the infrastructure in place to strike.”

The union achieved all of its goals, including historic wage, pension and health care increases — which Pappageorge has said were important both in light of record resort profits and high costs of living — in negotiations, along with restrictions and new language around the introduction of technology and artificial intelligence into the workplace, job safety, daily room cleaning and more.

Culinary Union has tentatively secured about $2 billion in total compensation for Caesars, MGM and Wynn over the total five-year contract. Every worker will be getting a 10% wage increase in the first year and a total of 32% over the life of the new contract. The wage increases are the largest ever negotiated in the union's 88-year history.

Pappageorge said the union will go into further detail on the economics on Wednesday, but “I can tell you that the overall money is double than what we got in the last contract. It’s front-loaded significantly in the first year so folks can get relief because of the cost of living in Las Vegas,” he said.

On safety, companies have agreed to track worker complaints on sexual harassment and criminal activity, and to be cooperative with workers on serious issues that could require police involvement. Safety buttons — or panic buttons — will be expanded from housekeepers to front-of-the-house workers.

“All my coworkers, my team members are excited because of the room reductions and also safety buttons,” Leticia Ricardo, a housekeeper at Linq, said today. “That's very important for me because that way everybody is safe.”

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