Why Las Vegas Casino Workers Are Prepared To Strike And What That Means For The Future
The Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas has become a symbol that may lead to thousands of hotel employees going on strike. At The Tipsy Robot, a mechanical arm makes drinks for patrons as they order them on tablets. Human waitresses occasionally appear to help deliver drinks. However, the message inside of Tipsy Robot is clear that human servers will likely become obsolete in the future.
The underlying message may result in a citywide strike that could impact multiple casinos, including The Bellagio, The Mirage, and Mandalay Bay. At The MGM Resorts International, more than 30,000 staff members have contracts that are set to expire soon. The Culinary and Bartenders Unions are representing the workers during the upcoming contract negotiations. The unions have said that the resort workers are seeking higher wages and workload quotas. Caesars Entertainment reached an agreement for a new contract with its workers. Many analysts are using the threat of a strike to talk about the emergence of new online casinos.
Many workers are frustrated with their salaries considering the companies’ large cash flows. The Culinary Union points out that they sacrificed wages during the recession so that the companies could continue to turn a profit. The Culinary Union points out that the strike could cost casinos millions of dollars.
Technology Takes Over
Many machines have taken the place of human workers who were available on casino floors. Prep cooks and bakers have seen their positions reduced due to commissary kitchen operations. Other technological advancements, such as digital check-in kiosks and robot room service have also caused layoffs.
Sexual harassment is another issue that workers believe needs to be addressed. Companies have agreed to give alarm buttons to women who enter hotel rooms alone, though the unions feel that there are still new policies that need to be created. MGM Resorts issued a statement that they are working with the unions on language that will protect employees from being harassed. Many workers feel that they are still an asset because they offer customer service and hospitality that computers are unable to provide.
Recently, a union for casino hotel workers announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with MGM Resorts International, which covers over 20,000 employees threatening to strike in Las Vegas. Caesars Entertainment is also working towards reaching an agreement with the unions. Despite the news of an agreement, a strike may still occur. If there is a strike, workers may picket outside of casinos and hotels.
In the event of a strike, analysts believe that companies will continue operating with replacement workers and managers. Some of the venues that will not be impacted by a potential strike include Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, Excalibur Hotel & Casino, Aria Resort & Casino, and The Luxor Hotel & Casino. Analysts also point out that new online casinos will continue to be an appealing option if a strike does happen.