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LAS VEGAS, NV-Two major Las Vegas unions are continuing talks with four principal casino owners here, MGM Mirage, Mandalay Resort Group, Park Place Entertainment and Harrah’s Entertainment, as a proposed June 1 strike looms on the horizon.

If negotiations are not ironed out by the time the collective bargaining agreements that cover more than 40,000 hotel and casino workers expires on May 31, members of both Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders’ and Beverage Dispensers’ Union Local 165 are prepared to strike. The strike was authorized last week by members of the Las Vegas Culinary Union with an overwhelming yes vote of 18,654 to 877.

The unions’ demands center mainly around health care issues and the treatment of housekeepers. The negotiators for the hotel and casino employees have asked for a 65-cent increase per hour in health-care benefits for each employee, a two-year contract, better treatment of housekeepers and rights for laid-off workers. Thus far, Park Place Entertainment and Harrah’s Entertainment have agreed to the 65-cent increase. However, negotiations with all four owners continue to stall.

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