Over 3000 workers without permanent contracts have blockaded three lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard and a further 100 have occupied the lobby of the Cosmopolitan Casino - all of whom were subsequently handcuffed and arrested. Most of those involved have been working in casinos across Las Vegas for more than two years without any job security. Several Las Vegas casino owners are known to have contributed sizeable sums to a Republican Party ‘union busting’ campaign.
This is the second such demonstration in 2013 and the second to end in the arrests of over 100 peaceful demonstrators. The police only waited a few minutes before reading a warning over a megaphone warning people that they are trespassing. Nobody can interfere with the flow of money upstairs to casino bosses, so they were quickly dealt with.
The Culinary workers union represents approximately 60,000 food servers and bar staff. As well as basic job security, they are demanding a 40 hour working weeks, better healthcare cover, and clause in their contracts that mean that terms and conditions will be carried over in the event of the Casino being sold to a different gangster.
Negotiations with casino owners have been on-going since 2010. There is no sign of any kind of settlement on the horizon, nor is there is there likely to be with owners who are openly engaged in the funding of a union-busting campaign.
The workers are sick of with the bosses stalling tactics, and are now looking to increase the pressure. They have said that they will be engaging in similar tactics on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.