Union pickets Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas for third time
Sin City's largest union picketed the Las Vegas Strip for the third time this year on Friday.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Hundreds of union workers protested on the Las Vegas Strip Friday in the third event of its kind this year.
Culinary Workers Union Local 226 said they have been in contract negotiations with The Cosmopolitan for more than two years.
"We are demonstrating out here today to prove that we are a power to be reckoned with," said Cashious O'Brien, a Cosmo employee and union member. "We want to come across a good solution to whatever's holding up our contract negotiations with Cosmopolitan."
O'Brien said workers want healthcare, job security and a guaranteed work week. During a similar event in March, dozens of picketers allowed themselves to be arrested.
"We're just looking for what everyone else has on the strip," said O'Brien. "We're looking for equal opportunity that all the rest of the strip has."
The union represents food and beverage workers and hotel employees. Union members from other properties along the strip joined in the protest.
"We're here to support our brothers and sisters for the Cosmopolitan, to make sure they get a contract just like us," said Manny Varjas, a union member and employee of Excalibur.
The protesters said their cause goes beyond the Cosmopolitan; the union said its last major contract with most properties along the strip expired on June 1. Many of those properties have signed an extension of the deal for the time being. However, as of Thursday the union said four properties had not signed the extension: El Cortez, Binion's, The Plaza and Las Vegas Club.
"It's very important because other contracts are coming up and we want to send a message that we're ready to fight for our contracts," said Varjas.
The Cosmopolitan released the following statement: "The majority of the Las Vegas Strip is in contract negotiations with the union.The Cosmopolitan management continues to negotiate in good faith with the union. Our highest priority is the safety and comfort of our guests and CoStars."