‘I’ve been out of work and it has been very hard’: Hospitality workers demand resorts rehire laid-off staff

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) —More than a thousand casino workers rallied on the Las Vegas Strip Thursday night, shutting a section of it down, all to fight for everyone who was laid off due to the pandemic, to get their jobs back.

The “We Will Comeback Stronger” rally was hosted by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

“For the last 20 months, I’ve been out of work, and it has been very hard,” said Alber Mora, a laid-off hospitality worker.

Alber Mora was laid-off from his hospitality job in 2020

Mora worked at a bakeshop inside Caesars Palace for 12 years but was laid off in April 2020 during the COVID-19 shutdown. While others have gotten their jobs back, he has not.

“The hotel says that there’s not enough business to bring back all the people that are not working now,” Mora said.

He is not alone. According to the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, around 35% of their members are still not back to work.

That is why they sent their message Thursday night in front of properties on the Las Vegas Strip, such as Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood; that part of the Las Vegas Strip is bustling with activity.

“Las Vegas is back in a lot of ways and we still have 20,000 people who are not back to work yet, and they are ready,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Workers Union Local 226.

Other unions — such as the International Chemical Workers Union, which was having a conference on the Las Vegas Strip, joined Thursday night’s rally as a way of standing in solidarity with the Las Vegas casino workers.

“If our brothers and sisters have an issue, we have an issue, so we’re here to support them with their issue,” said Jerry Hurocy, a member of the International Chemical Workers Union.

Mora is thankful for the encouragement — and is hopeful for the future.

“We will come back, and we will come back stronger,” Mora said.

The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 wants to make it clear Thursday night’s rally was not a protest against any casino company. They say it was simply a way to share their message to the hospitality industry as a whole.

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