Workers Plan First Civil Disobedience on Las Vegas Blvd. in over 20 years
Las Vegas, NV – Workers at the Cosmopolitan Casino have been in contract negotiations with owner, Deutsche Bank, for over two years. The parties have not come to an agreement on major issues that are central to contracts at other major casinos on the Strip. As a result, workers will take to the streets in an act of civil disobedience. Specifically, workers will engage in non-violent action by blocking traffic lanes on the Las Vegas Strip. This is the first time in over 20 years that union members have conducted such a protest outside a union casino.
Contracts for workers on the Strip and downtown will expire on June 1, 2013. Union members from all Las Vegas will be at this week’s demonstration. As it is, the delay for good contracts at the Cosmopolitan threatens the standard of living that has been established over decades of worker organizing. Negotiations with Caesars Entertainment and MGM will begin April 5, 2013.
Ron Gladstone, a 20 year union member who works as a cook at The D Las Vegas, will be taking part in this week’s action. He said, "This is important not just for the workers at Cosmo, but for all workers in Las Vegas. We’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure Las Vegas remains a town where people have the opportunity to provide for their families through good union jobs."
Culinary 226 and Bartenders 165 union members will be joined by clergy and UNITE HERE leaders from across the country. Grisell Margarino, a Mandalay Bay housekeeper described how she felt about participating in the civil disobedience, "I’ve never done something like this, but I’m ready." She is one of over 100 union members who will get arrested in a show of solidarity with workers at the Cosmopolitan. “Las Vegas is a union town, and workers are not going to back down," said Margarino.
The action on the Strip will take place Wednesday, March 20, from 5-7 pm. Spokespeople and clergy will be available for interviews.