Casino workers strike against Virgin Las Vegas for first time in over 20 years


The Culinary Workers Union began its strike against Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Friday and will continue through Sunday.

Some 700 union workers went on strike after their contract expired almost a year ago. Their union has been in negotiations with Virgin Hotels for five months without an agreement on a raise for workers’ wages. The hotel surpassed one strike deadline before missing the most recent deadline, prompting the strike.

“Workers need a raise and have been clear on what they deserve, but the company has been coming to the table with zeros for wages,” Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said in a statement. “Culinary Union calls on Virgin Las Vegas to stop treating their workers as second-class, respect them, and agree that they are worth more than zero. Every casino on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Las Vegas has already settled a fair contract and so this company is a total outlier and it’s disrespectful to the workers.”

Additionally, the union has established a 24/7 picket outside the hotel to discourage patrons from giving the hotel any business. The strike began on the day Latinos from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize celebrate Mother’s Day, and will continue through the U.S. holiday.

Virgin Hotels said it had a negotiation meeting scheduled for May 2 that the union canceled; however, a spokesperson denied the allegation to the Washington Examiner. It has also gone on to file a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that the CWU has “failed and refused to negotiate in good faith” and issues threats to “retaliate against employees if they did not join or support the union.”

“Because the Union has not told us what agreements it believes are necessary to avoid a strike, we have asked the Union to join us in mediation as soon as possible. The goal of mediation is to reach an agreement without disrupting our guest and our team members’ lives with a work stoppage,” Virgin Hotels said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “While we are eager to move discussions forward, the Union has declined to participate in mediation at this time.”

Negotiations are next slated for May 14. This comes days before country music star Lee Price will have his debut performance at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on May 17, and months before Las Vegas is slated to host the Formula One Grand Prix in November.


This comes after the CWU called off an impending strike against MGM, Caesar’s, and Wynn Resort last November. While the other resorts are long-standing hotels on the Vegas strip, Virgin Hotels opened its doors in March 2021, and has never experienced a labor strike until Friday.

The CWU represents 60,000 hospitality workers in Nevada, with all but 7,000 based in Las Vegas. It is considered the largest union in the state. Unionized members are majority female at 55% and another 45% of members are immigrants.

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