Thousands rally on Las Vegas Strip in support of food service workers demanding better pay, benefits

Aug 9, 2023, 10:06 PM | Updated: Aug 10, 2023, 7:28 pm

FILE - T-Mobile Arena stands in Las Vegas on Feb. 1, 2022, in Las Vegas. Food service workers at a ...

FILE - T-Mobile Arena stands in Las Vegas on Feb. 1, 2022, in Las Vegas. Food service workers at a Las Vegas Strip arena demanding higher pay and better benefits are set to march Thursday evening beneath the glittery lights of the famed tourist corridor amid ongoing negotiations for a union contract. (AP Photo/David Becker, File)

(AP Photo/David Becker, File)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Thousands of hospitality workers rallied Thursday evening beneath the glittery lights of the Las Vegas Strip to call attention to ongoing union contract negotiations for higher pay and better benefits for food service workers at one of the largest arenas on the famed tourist corridor.

The Culinary Workers Union, a political powerhouse in Nevada, said in a statement ahead of the rally that servers, dishwashers, cooks and bartenders who work at T-Mobile Arena have been locked in contract negotiations for nearly a year with their employer, Levy Premium Food Service. The workers say they want a fair contract that will ensure “one job is enough to provide for their families.”

Union members packed the walkways near the arena on Thursday, with the crowd mostly dressed in red spilling onto Las Vegas Boulevard.

The union represents 60,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including 200 Levy employees who work at the arena, the home stadium of the Vegas Golden Knights.

The action comes two weeks after members voted 97% in favor of authorizing a strike if a contract isn’t reached soon. It is the union’s second gathering on the Strip in recent months highlighting the ongoing negotiations with Levy, which provides food and drink services to arenas, convention centers and other venues nationwide.

In June, thousands also dressed in red assembled on the Strip for a march to bring attention to the contract negotiations, waving signs that read “ONE JOB SHOULD BE ENOUGH” at passing cars and tourists.

Levy said in a statement it was discouraged by the union’s decision to rally after several months of negotiations.

“We remain committed to working diligently with the Union to reach a fair agreement that shows our team members how much we value them,” the statement said, “and we look forward to returning to the bargaining table soon.”

MGM Resorts International, which operates T-Mobile Arena, did not respond to a request for comment.

Lucia Orozco has worked as a cook at the arena since it opened in 2016. She described herself and her husband, a hospitality worker at a nearby Strip casino, as hard workers who don’t spend outside of their means. Yet they live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have money saved to retire anytime soon.

“I worry about it because I’m very close to retirement,” the 56-year-old said. “I don’t have too much time left.”

Orozco, who was among the block of union members who voted to authorize a strike, said she wasn’t surprised by the results of the vote.

“Everybody’s tired of not making enough,” she said.

A date for a strike has not been set, but the union said its members have taken major steps toward walking off the job, including making picket signs and signing up for shifts on the picket line.

The possible strike looms ahead of the Golden Knights’ first preseason home hockey game Sept. 27 against the Los Angeles Kings and the team’s season opener at home Oct. 10 against the Seattle Kraken. If the union strikes, it would happen against the backdrop of thousands of hospitality workers in Southern California, also demanding higher pay and improved benefits, walking off the job last month. The union there described it as the largest strike in its history.


Associated Press photographer John Locher in Las Vegas contributed.

United States News

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee speaks during Sen...

Associated Press

Democratic Sen. Menendez rejects calls to resign and says cash found in home was not bribe proceeds

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey defiantly pushed back against federal corruption charges on Monday, saying nearly half a million dollars in cash authorities found in his home was from his personal savings, not from bribes, and was on hand for emergencies.

1 minute ago

Associated Press

Coast Guard searching for woman swept into ocean from popular Washington coast beach

RIALTO BEACH, Wash. (AP) — Teams are searching for a 26-year-old woman who was swept into the ocean Monday from a popular beach on the Washington coast, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard said it received a call at 10:50 a.m. about a woman who was reportedly taken by ocean currents while […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

Court appointee proposes Alabama congressional districts to provide representation to Black voters

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A court-appointed special master on Monday submitted three proposals for new congressional districts in Alabama as federal judges oversee the drawing of new lines to provide greater representation for Black voters. The three proposals all create a second district where Black voters comprise a majority of the voting age population or […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Dolphin that shared a tank with Lolita the orca at Miami Seaquarium moves to SeaWorld San Antonio

MIAMI (AP) — A Pacific white-sided dolphin who shared a tank with Lolita the orca at the Miami Seaquarium until Lolita died last month has been moved to SeaWorld San Antonio, where he will live with others of his species, officials said Monday. Li’i will be joining other Pacific white-sided dolphins in San Antonio, some […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

EXPLAINER: What is saltwater intrusion and how is it affecting Louisiana’s drinking water?

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — For months, residents in the southeast corner of Louisiana have relied on bottled water for drinking and cooking, with the water from the faucet coming out salty. Plaquemines Parish Councilman Mark “Hobbo” Cognevich, who represents the affected area, said grocery stores are constantly having to restock plastic water bottles, neighbors […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

At least 360 Georgia prison guards have been arrested for contraband since 2018, newspaper finds

ATLANTA (AP) — At least 360 employees of Georgia’s state prison system have been arrested on accusations of smuggling contraband into prisons since 2018, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, with 25 more employees fired for smuggling allegations but not arrested. The newspaper finds that nearly 8 in 10 of Georgia Department of Corrections employees arrested were […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

Thousands rally on Las Vegas Strip in support of food service workers demanding better pay, benefits