Clevelanders back workers at rally for Vegas casino contract
Rick Nagin/PW

CLEVELAND – Dozens of spirited protesters rallied in downtown Cleveland March 27 to support workers at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas seeking a union contract.  It was one of a half dozen actions in New York, Detroit and other cities, Tabatha Vanni, an organizer for Unite Here, said.

The Cleveland rally took place during Happy Hours in front of Mabel’s BBQ, which operates a restaurant owned by celebrity chef Michael Symon in the Palms.

“Two, four, six eight, tell the Palms: negotiate,” the protesters chanted to the beat of drummers from Musicians Union Local 4.  Palms remains one of only a few unorganized casinos in Las Vegas, Vanni said.  Flyers handed to passersby explained that the union was certified by the federal government after an election last year where 84 percent voted to be represented by the union.

However, Palms has refused to recognize the union or negotiate a contract. The casino is owned by the Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta family, which contributed $1.58 million to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a letter the union sent March 6 to Symon.

Vanni said union supporters should contact Chef Michael Symon’s Twitter account asking him to call on the Palms to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with Culinary Workers Local 226.  The local, a branch of UNITEHERE, represents 60,000 hospitality workers in the Las Vegas casino industry.


Rick Nagin
Rick Nagin

Rick Nagin has written for People's World and its predecessors since 1970. He has been active for many years in Cleveland politics and the labor movement.