A number of casino dealers in Las Vegas have decided to switch alliances and are giving up their partnership with the Transportation Workers Union (TWU). They have agreed to join the Union of Automobile Workers (UAW), also known as the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, one of the largest and oldest unions in the country.
Casino workers employed at four venues—Wynn, Harrah’s, Bally’s and Paris—voted to make the move, which was brought about, in part, by the TWU’s decision to return to its core transportation roots. The UAW represents over 8,000 casino employees currently and has more than 400,000 members total.
In a statement on the UAW website, company president Gary Jones stated, “We welcome our new UAW sisters and brothers to the UAW family. Gaming dealers at Bally’s, Harrah’s, Paris and the Wynn will now join the over 8,000 UAW members in Casino’s across the country. We expect another successful vote from Caesars’ workers next week. With these votes, the UAW is proud to have organized almost 9,000 new members since June of 2018.”
Vance Person, the UAW Region 5 director, adds, “Today’s vote gives the gaming workers at Bally’s, Harrah’s, Paris and the Wynn a strong voice in their workplace. We welcome our newest members into UAW Region 5 and we want our new brothers and sisters to know that the over 400,000 members of the UAW and over 8,000 fellow UAW casino workers have their backs at the negotiating table.”
The UAW has been around since 1935. As the name suggests, it initially was designed to represent workers in the auto industry, but has morphed into something larger over the years. Driven by a decline in domestic vehicle production in the 1980s, the union sought to integrate additional industries and now includes employees in healthcare, education and casino gambling.
There has been a lot of union activity in Las Vegas over the past year. Companies have been talking more about automating certain operations, which has caused many organizations to speak up. After MGM made its announcement recently that it wants to replace certain employees with robots, there has been renewed interest in protecting workers and their future.