Robots could Cause Las Vegas Workers to Strike

Contracts for over 50,000 Las Vegas bartenders, cocktail waitresses, cooks, bellman, and other hospitality workers have expired as of June 1. And Vegas casinos are now worried that these union workers could strike amidst fears over their jobs. But the fear isn’t that other people will replace these union members. Instead, the worry is that […]

Contracts for over 50,000 Las Vegas bartenders, cocktail waitresses, cooks, bellman, and other hospitality workers have expired as of June 1. And Vegas casinos are now worried that these union workers could strike amidst fears over their jobs.

But the fear isn’t that other people will replace these union members. Instead, the worry is that robots will occupy countless jobs in the Vegas area.

“I voted yes to go on strike to ensure my job isn’t outsourced to a robot,” said Chad Neanover, a cook at Caesars’ Margaritaville.

“We know technology is coming, but workers shouldn’t be pushed out or left behind. Casino companies should ensure that technology is harnessed to improve the quality and safety in the workplace, not as a way to completely eliminate our jobs.”

Union Wants to Send Vegas a Message over Robot Workers

Unionized Vegas workers would rather keep their jobs. But they also want to send a message that they won’t tolerate automation taking over the industry.

Culinary Union’s secretary treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline told the AP that striking is a last-resort measure in case the casinos are dead-set on moving forward with robots.

“We support innovations that improve jobs, but we oppose automation when it only destroys jobs. Our industry must innovate without losing the human touch,” said Argüello-Kline.

Strike could Cause up to $10 Million in Daily Losses

It’s in the casinos’ best interest to avoid a strike. After all, such a move could cause the biggest casino resorts like Caesar’s Palace and MGM Grand around $10 million in losses each. This would be the biggest loss in the city’s history.

The reason why automation is such a hot issue in Las Vegas is because hospitality jobs make up most of the workforce. This makes more jobs here susceptible to robots. Research indicates that up to 36,000 of the city’s retail jobs could be taken over by automation by 2036.

 

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