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Thousands of Las Vegas casino workers mull strike action over fears robots could take jobs

THOUSANDS of workers in high-profile Las Vegas casinos were set to strike today over fears that robots may take their jobs.

Casinos are expected to lose an estimated $10 million a day as a result of the walkouts after the contracts of 50,000 workers across the city expired at midnight last night.

Around 25,000 members of the Culinary and Bartender Unions — including bartenders, food and cocktail servers, porters and cooks at 34 casino resorts — voted 99 per cent in favour of taking industrial action last week, should their contracts be allowed to expire.

They are seeking a five-year contract amid fears over the effect of automation on jobs.

Culinary Union general secretary Geoconda Arguello Kline explained: “We support innovations that improve jobs, but we oppose automation when it only destroys jobs.

“Our industry must innovate without losing the human touch. That’s why employers should work with us to stay strong, fair, and competitive.”

A strike headquarters was opened by the union, with tens of thousands of placards made in preparation for the strike. 

The union announced a “tentative agreement” with Caesars Entertainment over a five-year deal covering “approximately 12,000 workers at nine casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip” in the early hours this morning.

However no deal had been struck with MGM Resorts at the time the Star went to press, with 25 properties facing a walkout with no meetings scheduled.

The union issued advice not to cross picket lines of those workplaces involved in the industrial action.

“We are willing to do whatever it takes to get a fair deal for workers here in Las Vegas, to just make sure that we get our fair share of the profits that the companies are enjoying right now,” a union statement said.

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