Nearly 100 workers were arrested Wednesday night in Las Vegas as they engaged in civil disobedience to protest the Cosmopolitan casino’s refusal to agree to a fair contract with its workers. As reported Wednesday, members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165 blocked the street on the Las Vegas Strip, leading to 98 arrests.
Workers shut down rush hour traffic for more than an hour as about 1,500 people gathered in solidarity with the Cosmopolitan casino workers. The casino is owned by Deutsche Bank. According to U.S. News and World Report, some of the gathered workers said they were concerned that the bank was delaying so they could sell the casino without the employees having a union contract.
The workers engaged in the protest were not employed by the Cosmopolitan:
Moments before her hands were bound with a zip tie, Janet Hill said she decided to get arrested to send management a message.
“They need to give workers here a contract; it affects us all,” said Hill, a porter at the Flamingo casino down the Strip.
Paulina Corona came to the protest in the brown uniform she wears as a housekeeper at the Mirage hotel-casino. She said the demonstration was important because mutual support creates strength.
“This is a union, and everybody is in it together. When there are problems at the Mirage, everyone goes there,” she said.
Corona, 58, said that as a cancer survivor she worries that management could make workers shoulder more of their health care costs.
“Every day, they try to ask for more things,” she said.
Check out the Local 226’s Facebook page for more pictures and updates.
This article was originally posted on the AFL-CIO on March 21, 2013. Reprinted with Permission.
About the Author: Kenneth Quinnell is a long-time blogger, campaign staffer and political activist whose writings have appeared on AFL-CIO, Daily Kos, Alternet, the Guardian Online, Media Matters for America, Think Progress, Campaign for America’s Future and elsewhere.