MGM training management to serve booze as strike threat looms

By: - November 6, 2023 1:48 pm

Members of Culinary Union Local 226 demonstrating in front of the Bellagio, and MGM Resorts property. (Photo courtesy Culinary 226)

MGM Resorts International is preparing for a possible strike on the Las Vegas Strip by directing management employees to obtain alcohol management cards, the Current has learned.  

“I can confirm that,” according to Kristen, an employee at Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM) Nevada, who declined to give her full name. 

The employee said TAM Nevada, one of two companies that provide alcohol management training, is also seeing an influx of individuals obtaining cards because of the Formula 1 race, scheduled to begin next week.

Nevada law requires anyone who sells or serves alcohol, as well as security guards in establishments that sell alcohol, to have a card verifying they have completed alcohol awareness classes. 

Culinary Local 226, which represents cocktail servers, bartenders, housekeepers, food servers and others has given MGM, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts a deadline of Friday, Nov. 10 to present a suitable offer to union members, who remain on the job without a contract, or face a massive strike. 

MGM, which operates 14 properties on the Las Vegas Strip, declined to comment on its preparations. 

“We’re meeting with the Union again this week and will comment after,” spokesman Jeff Mochal said via email. 

The Culinary’s parent union, UNITE HERE, has been on strike at three Michigan casinos, including the MGM’s Detroit property, which has remained open. 

Matt Buckley, president and chief operating officer of MGM Resorts’ Midwest Group, which oversees the Detroit property, said the company “will take whatever lawful action is necessary to fill shifts and continue providing our customers with entertainment and service.” 

“Good luck to them!” Culinary spokesperson Bethany Khan said in response to news of MGM’s Las Vegas strike preparations. “They also need to clean rooms, wash dishes, clean the casino floor, make the drinks, cook the food, serve the guests, and everything else.” 

The union represents some 35,000 workers employed by MGM, Caesars, and Wynn in Las Vegas. 

Longtime gaming executive and former California regulator Richard Schuetz says MGM is likely making strike preparations in an effort “for show,” adding the company does not want to resort to management-provided customer service. 

“Try and knock out thousands of meals daily on systems you do not understand. It is embarrassing, funny, and somewhat dangerous,” he said. “The union has massive leverage because of F1, and they know it.”

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.