Las Vegas casino owners expressed confidence they can reach a deal with union employees, who are threatening the first strike there since 1984.

Members of Unite Here’s culinary and bartenders unions are seeking new agreements on wages and issues such as workplace safety, subcontracting and new technology, according to a statement. Some workers are concerned they’ll be replaced by automated systems.

The workers are threatening to walk out if a new deal isn’t reached by June 1, when the current accord expires. “A strike is a last resort,” Geoconda Argüello-Kline, secretary-treasurer of the union, said in the statement.

The contracts cover 50,000 workers at 34 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and and downtown, including properties operated by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp., the union said. In 1984, thousands of Culinary Union members went on a citywide strike for 67 days. Talks are scheduled for this week and next, according to MGM Resorts, the largest owner of casinos on the Strip.

“A vote such as this is an expected part of the process,” MGM Resorts said in statement Wednesday. “We are confident that we can resolve the outstanding contract issues and will come to an agreement that works for all sides.”

Caesars also remained upbeat about the negotiations. “We expect to reach an agreement,” the company said.


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Photo Credit: The owners of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, seen here, are among those operators working hard to avert a strike on June 1 with culinary workers and bartenders. Bloomberg