Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Las Vegas trade show workers ratify new collective bargaining agreement

Members of a Las Vegas union have ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement that includes the largest wage package in the organisation’s history.

Local 631 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said its 1,500 convention and trade show workers have voted in favour of the new agreement.

The contract which, according to the union, sets the standard for trade show agreements nationwide, was negotiated “by the members for the members.”

To reach this latest agreement, the union employed “traditional and newer methods of outreach,” including Zoom and online polling.

“We held numerous in-person contract proposal meetings with the ability to join via Zoom,” said Tommy Blitsch, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 631 and Director of the Teamsters Convention, Trade Show and Casino Division.

“We asked the members for their proposals with the understanding that no proposal was too much, and no proposal was stupid.”

Las Vegas trade shows and conventions only reopened a little over a year ago after the pandemic forced a nationwide shutdown. However, approximately 40% of Local 631’s members are not back to working their pre-pandemic hours, it said.

Given this and the “out-of-control inflation gripping the country,” Blitsch said it was important to “get as much money into members’ pockets now.”

He remarked: “Las Vegas is the number one convention and trade show destination in the world. Local 631 members make trade shows happen.

“Every show goes up on time, every time and every show gets torn down on time, every time. We are the best. This contract rewards our members for the work they do.”

This comes not long after Local 631 members voted to authorise a strike at waste disposal company Republic Services.

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