A Culinary Union rally slated for Thursday, 5 p.m., will be shutting down part of the Las Vegas Strip. Thousands of culinary workers expected to attend the “We Will Come Back Stronger!” event, between Harmon Avenue and Paris Drive.
According to the union, 35% of its 60,000 members have not returned to work 20 months after the pandemic began. The Culinary Union says it wants gaming partners in the industry to be successful and for tourists to return to Vegas, but asks for hospitality workers to be able to return to work “at 100%.”
“Workers in Las Vegas have built the hospitality industry over the Culinary Union’s 87 years and they should be centered as the economy recovers from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” said the union in a statement.
Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer of the union, will speak at the rally, which will also include Culinary Union members, Station Casinos workers, Nevada State AFL-CIO affiliate members, as well as “allies from the community, clergy and the progressive movement.“
The event is expected to be the first major rally since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year and a half ago. Three lanes will be closed off “to ensure safety of all rally participants.” Speakers will be on an elevated platform, and media interviews will take place post program.
The union last held a massive rally on Friday, September 24, as hundreds of hospitality workers marched down the Las Vegas Strip wearing their uniforms and red union t-shirts.
The union emphasizes the upcoming march is not “a protest against any casino company.” The statement further remarks it is a rally and not a strike, action or demonstration.
“As the Las Vegas economy continues to recover, committee leaders inside the casinos and hotels are organizing to ensure their coworkers are being brought back to work,” the union further said.
Most recently, the Culinary Union has been involved in an ongoing conflict with Station Casinos, stemming from disagreements over union representation of workers, which has led to various legal battles in the last decade.
This has involved the union urging residents near Station Casinos’ planned Durango Station casino resort to speak up and let local officials know if they are against the project last month. Station Casinos has called this push against the Durango project "harassment".