700+ Workers at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas Plan 48-Hour Strike in Week Mohegan Bails

  • Virgin Hotels staff are the last “in the resort corridor to not strike a deal with their employer”
  • The Culinary Union gave Virgin more time to negotiate contracts due to financial constraints
  • The Culinary Union states the next negotiation sit-down with Virgin will take place Tuesday
Fists in air
The Culinary Union has ordered Virgin Hotels Las Vegas staff to strike for two days over a contract impasse. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Strike time

Just one day after the Mohegan Tribe called quits on operating Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, 700 hospitality workers at the off-Strip casino resort announced they are planning a 48-hour strike. Culinary Union 226 took to X Thursday to call for the two-day strike from 5am on Friday:

According to a Culinary Union news release, the call-for action is a double first. For one, the strike will be the first in the property’s 22-year history, while also making history as the resort-casino’s maiden Culinary and Bartenders Union strike.

The representative body stated the Virgin Hotels staff are the:

last workers in the resort corridor to not strike a deal with their employer.”

The majority of major downtown and off-Strip properties reached agreements with the Culinary Union in early February to offer their employees improved contracts.

Financial issues

Instead of enforcing its February 5 strike deadline on Virgin, the Culinary Union took into account the property’s financial pressures and agreed to give its management more time to negotiate contracts. 

Friday’s planned strike, however, means the union has finally run out of patience with Virgin, which is owned by Nevada-based JC Hospitality LLC in partnership with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Fengate Asset Management, Juniper Capital Partners, LiUNA, Dream and Orlando Development.

Commenting in a news release, Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge said that “workers are still working without a contract” despite the Virgin contract expiring June 1 last year.

Workers at Virgin Las Vegas deserve fair wage increases”

The union exec said the impasse prompted the strike action. “Workers at Virgin Las Vegas deserve fair wage increases and they are organized and ready to strike for it,” he said.

In 2018, the Virgin Group and partners acquired the property, then occupied by Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, announcing a year later it would rebrand to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas complete with a new operator, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment.

What’s interesting is the timing of the strike announcement. It has come just one day after the Mohegan Tribe announced it would part ways with the Vegas property.

What next?

In its defense, the Native American operator endured a nightmare tenure in Vegas that included the COVID-19 years. Then in December, Mohegan announced a 42% year-on-year dip in Sin City revenue for the three months closing September 30, causing the tribe to lose nearly $4.7m.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Virgin Hotels has not responded to a request for comment over the planned strikes.

The LVR-J, however, cited an interview with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas President Cliff Atkinson that preceded the strike announcement. The Virgin exec stated that “labor negotiations with Culinary continue in good faith.” For now, the union strike will go ahead, with Culinary representatives stating the next negotiation sit-down with Virgin will take place Tuesday.

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