700 Union Workers on 48-hour Strike at Virgin Las Vegas

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About 700 workers walked off the job at a hotel-casino near the Las Vegas Strip Friday morning in what union organizers said would be a 48-hour strike after spending months trying to reach a deal for new five-year contract with Virgin Hotels.

The Culinary Union Local 226, the largest in Nevada, said the action marked its first strike in 22 years. The union authorized a citywide strike late last year, but it reached agreements with all the major hotel-casinos on the Strip covering about 40,000 workers before the end of the year, and with most downtown and off-Strip properties in early February covering another 10,000 workers.

Guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers were among those walking a picket line in front of Virgin Hotels a few blocks west of the Strip just after dawn on Friday, union organizers said.

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