Obamacare Could Cause 10,000 Las Vegas Casino Workers To Go On Strike
On the 20th of February, thousands of workers in Las Vegas who were represented by the Culinary Union Local 226, which is Nevada’s largest union, voted to put an end to an extension of a contract which was agreed upon last year. The reason for this is that the union would like to maintain its current benefits at no additional costs to the workers, their pensions as well as a guarantee of 40 hours of work per week. This will also include free health care which employers have been paying for until now.
Unfortunately with the introduction of Obamacare and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health care costs have increased. Workers from hotels such as the Riviera, the Plaza and the Stratosphere, will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to leave their jobs should the union authorize a strike.
The current medical plans, the Taft-Hartley plans, provide hotels and workers with a reduced rate which is maintained by employers and a labor union. With the new Affordable Care Act, the recipients of the Taft-Hartley plans are no longer eligible for tax subsidies making it more expensive for employers to provide their employees with health insurance. Donald Taylor, who is the President of Unite Here, has been very open regarding his dissatisfaction of Obamacare.
Meanwhile, the CU Local 226 has been successful in coming to an agreement with Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts which will provide 35,000 of their workers with free health care coverage and additional provisions. The political director for CU Local 226, Yvanna Cancela, has stated that Obamacare has made it very expensive for employers to provide their workers with adequate medical cover and in many cases, these employers have asked their employees to contribute. While negotiations are still underway for many casinos and their workers, all eyes are on the vote which is expected on the 20th of March so hopefully a settlement will be reached before then.