98 Arrests Made In Las Vegas After Union Protesters Block Traffic

Las Vegas police arrested 98 union workers after they blocked traffic in protest of working without a contract for two years at The Cosmopolitan casino.

The protesters blocked traffic on busy Las Vegas Boulevard by sitting down on the major thoroughfare and clapping and yelling.

"Cosmopolitan, look around, Las Vegas is a union town!" the protesters yelled, according to the Las Vegas Sun. “... No justice, no peace! ...”

The protest lasted about an hour before police stepped in and arrested 98 union workers at around 6:10 p.m. Wednesday night, according to the Sun.

The 98 people arrested continued to chant, “If we don’t get no contract, you don’t get no peace,” as they were taken away in handcuffs, Associated Press reported.

Members of Culinary Union Local 226, the most powerful union in Las Vegas, and its supporters had no regrets about the protest, which they said was necessary to point out that they were working without a contract at The Cosmopolitan for two years. The hotel is owned by Deutsche Bank.

"I need to fight for my country," said Maria Mares, an employee of The Riviera hotel who wanted to show her support for workers at The Cosmopolitan.

“Cosmopolitan workers are not second-class citizens. … They need a contract,” she told the Sun.

The protest is not the first demonstration this year by Culinary Union Local 226. Earlier this year, the union picketed outside The Cosmopolitan on two separate occasions, according to AP.

While 98 people were arrested, about 1,500 were involved in the protest, the news wire service reported.

Janet Hill, one of the 98 arrested and a porter at the Flamingo, said what happens at The Cosmopolitan is connected to her job.

“They need to give workers here a contract; it affects us all,” Hill told AP.

Marcus Lucas, a worker at the Mirage who was also among the 98 arrested, reiterated that point.

“We’re united here,” said Lucas, 49.

“The Cosmopolitan wants to be a model on the Strip,” he told the Sun. “We can’t let that happen.”

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