Two Boyd Casinos reach agreements to avoid union strike

Two downtown Las Vegas casinos narrowly avoided a strike through a tentative agreement with union workers.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that hotel, restaurant and bar workers at two Boyd Gaming casinos on Fremont and Main Street Station in Las Vegas were preparing a strike, which was scheduled to go into effect this coming Sunday

The strike was called off after a new five-year contract was signed between Boyd Gaming and the Culinary and Bartenders Unions, which will protect union healthcare benefits while improving housekeeping working conditions and restoring the jobs of workers who had been laid off.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Golden Nugget reached a similar agreement with its workers in April, with the new contract being ratified May 1. There are seven remaining Las Vegas properties -- the D, Four Queens, Binion’s, Plaza, Las Vegas Club, El Cortez and Golden Gate -- that do not have new agreements with their employees. Union members plan on walking off their jobs at 5 a.m. Sunday if new negotiations are not reached, including restaurant workers, hotel housekeepers, cocktail servers, bartenders and more.

“Boyd has shown that they respect their employees and are invested in their workforce,” Culinary secretary-treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “We hope that the other downtown casinos follow the example of Boyd and Golden Nugget as we negotiate with them over the next couple of days.”

ABC News reported that, if the strike were to go into effect on Sunday, it would be the first one since 2002, when workers picketed the Golden Gate casino for nine days. A date for a ratification vote by workers at Fremont Hotel & Casino and Main Street Station has not been set, but they will stay on the job next week as a result of the preliminary deal.

Casino worker union activity is seeing an upswing. In March more than 100 Revel Casino Hotel employees and members of the resort’s largest casino union demanded the right to unionize in Atlantic City. In April, the Caesars Windsor hotel and casino in Ontario, Canada, avoided a hotel strike after its workers voted 73.5 percent in favor of a new four-year contract with the establishment.