Vegas 98 Arrests: Union Protest Casinos Over Wages, Healthcare Costs Leads to Clash with Police
Mar 21, 2013 02:23 PM EDT
Workers blocked traffic on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday in a demonstration against the Cosmopolitan casino that ended with the arrest of 98 protesters, according to the Associated Press.
As police officers arrested the workers of the lavish hotels, restaurants and other jobs throughout the Las Vegas Strip, onlookers heard chants of, "If we don't get no contract, you don't get no peace," according to news reports.
Las Vegas' largest and most powerful union has been in contract talks with Cosmopolitan Las Vegas owner Deutsche Bank for two years.
Wednesday's action was the first time union members implemented civil disobedience outside a unionized casino in more than two decades, according to union spokeswoman Yvanna Cancela, and reported by the AP.
Protesters shut down rush hour traffic for more than an hour in the heavily populated Strip.
Fair workers' wages was the main impetus for the protest.
"They need to give workers here a contract; it affects us all," said Janet Hill, a porter at the Flamingo casino.
Issues of wages, job security and health care have stalled in recent weeks. Paulina Corona, a housekeeper at the Mirage hotel-casino said the demonstration was necessary.
"This is a union, and everybody is in it together," she said. "When there are problems at the Mirage, everyone goes there."
Corona is a cancer survivor and believes management should ensure protection of healthcare costs to their employees. Culinary Union members receive free health care and are paid above-average wages, according to the AP.