News & Commentary

October 23, 2023

Morgan Sperry

Morgan Sperry is a student at Harvard Law School and also serves as OnLabor's Social Media Director.

In today’s news and commentary, Las Vegas culinary workers prepare to strike and SAG-AFTRA offers Halloween costume guidance.

Forty thousand members of Las Vegas’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226—including guest room attendants, kitchen workers, bell men, laundry, cooks, servers, and porters—have been working without a contract since September 15 and are prepared to strike for the first time in 39 years. Workers at 18 hotels and resorts owned by MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Encore Resorts are seeking raises and reduced hours. Vegas room rates have risen 95 percent while there has been an 11 percent decrease in resort industry jobs since 2019, forcing people to work more without a share of the resorts’ rewards. Workers without a contract held practice pickets down the strip last week to signal their preparedness to strike.

As Halloweekend approaches, SAG-AFTRA has instructed its members (many of whom are active content creators) not to post pictures of themselves dressed as characters from major productions, which could be perceived as promoting struck work. Despite pushback from some major stars (Ryan Reynolds tweeted “I look forward to screaming ‘scab’ at my 8 year old all night. She’s not in the union but she needs to learn”), the guild continues to encourage its members to stick with generic costumes (“ghost, zombie, or spider”) this year rather than specific characters, like Barbie.

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