Las Vegas Boulevard was blocked for more than an hour on Wednesday after a Las Vegas union demonstrated. Workers blocked traffic on the busy Las Vegas Strip in protest against the Cosmopolitan casino. The Associated Press reported that nearly 100 protesters were arrested due to civil disobedience.
Metro Police Captain Todd Fasulo said to the AP that 98 people in total were arrested. The workers, as they were being arrested were chanting, "If we don't get no contract, you don't get no peace."
The union has been in contract talks with Cosmopolitan Las Vegas owner Duetshce Bank for two years with ongoing disputes.
"Earlier this year, the 54,000-member union held two one-day pickets outside the casino, which sits on a bustling corner in the heart of the tourist corridor. They marked Culinary Workers Local 226's first pickets on the Strip since 2003," reported the AP.
The protests Wednesday was the first time union members deployed civil disobedience in more than two decades union spokeswoman Yvanna Cancela said to the AP.
The union and Cosmopolitan are still negotiating said Amy Rossetti who is the casino's spokesperson.
"They need to give workers here a contract; it affects us all," said Janet Hill, a porter at the Flamingo casino who got arrested in the protests.
Contract negotiations are going to be open for most other casinos in April.
"Talks with the Cosmopolitan have stalled on a range of issues, including wages, health care and job security, Cancela said," reported the AP. "The 2-year-old Cosmopolitan was built by the German investment bank after its original developer defaulted. It is one of just a handful of non-unionized casinos on the Strip, along with the Venetian, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and the Palms."
Some visitors on the strip joined in and cheered workers as they marched. "I was surprised because I didn't know this was an issue here," said James Lewis from Australia to the AP. "I come from a place where health care is free, so this is something completely foreign."
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