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When We Talk About Automation, We Also Need To Talk About Race.

It’s these types of concerns that the Culinary Union in Las Vegas is trying to grapple with now as contracts for hospitality workers continue to come up for renewal in cities across the country. The union is looking not only at how technology could erode employment opportunities for its members ― who are overwhelmingly workers of color ― but also at ways to leverage it for their protection.

At the beginning of June, the Culinary Union and Bartenders Union (affiliates of Unite Here, a union that represents 270,000 workers in the hospitality industry across North America) reached tentative agreements with the largest employers on the Las Vegas Strip ― Caesars Entertainment Corp. and MGM Resorts International.

The 36,000 employees from both companies — along with 14,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas whose contracts were set to expire at the end of May — had authorized a strike if agreements could not be reached.  

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