LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – On Tuesday, the largest union in Nevada authorized its leaders to strike if it fails to reach an agreement with the three major hotel and casino operators on and along the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.

95% of those union members voted yes –and rallied throughout the day Tuesday – at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. The two sides are expected to resume negotiations next week, union officials told the 8 News Now Investigators.

“After that, if we can’t get somewhere, I think we’ll get a strike,” Ted Pappageorge, the Local 226’s secretary-treasurer said.

Pappageorge said the union is asking for its largest wage increase ever, along with better health benefits and defense against technology – namely artificial intelligence – whittling down its workforce.

Union workers like Cherine Jackson, a guest room attendant at Linq, said it was no coincidence that Tuesday’s vote is within weeks of the much-ballyhooed Formula One auto race in November.

When asked if she was willing to use the F1 race as leverage, Jackson said, “Yes, I am..” Upon further questioning about her colleagues’ willingness to strike, as many of them were walking through Thomas & Mack chanting about a new labor contract, Jackson said, “Yes they are. Look around.”

“Workers are not dumb,” Pappageorge said in response to the same line of questioning. “They’re really smart. They’re really smart.”

He continued: “We’re concerned that companies have forgotten how this town really was built and how these companies got their profits.”

Pappageorge said the hotel is still taking advantage of lower staffing requirements that were put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic. He reminded a throng of news reporters that his union has a history of long, nasty strikes, saying a work stoppage would last “as long as it takes.”