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FAST COMPANY: Cancelled lunch breaks and bad pay: Why Las Vegas hotel workers are ready to strike


...The majority of my coworkers around me are union employees. We practically work the same amount or sometimes even more—so our workload is heavier and we’re less staffed. Some of my coworkers are doing the same work that I do, but because we have different titles, they’re making more money. There’s a lot of favoritism and turnover. My coworkers come in and they see what’s going on, and they leave.  

I have thought about getting a union job elsewhere. Management puts a lot of pressure on us; they don’t respect us or our rights. I am a cook, but sometimes I have to do prep or take care of the clients. If we do something wrong—if we get an order wrong—they scream at us. I’ve even said at those points, “No more. I’m done with this.” But I tolerate it and I hang in there because I know the union is coming.

If I had the union, I would make a fair wage and be respected as a cook. Right now, I’m not full time, and I don’t have any benefits. I believe that would change if I were unionized...


...We want a contract now. We want better wages. We’re asking for [protections] so they can’t add in different technology devices and things like that to change our job or to take over our job. We’re asking for better security for other union members; the waitresses downstairs don’t have these awesome security buttons we have to stay safe. We’re asking for daily room cleaning. The rooms get super dirty, and it takes us even longer to clean them. We’re definitely asking for [a lighter] workload as well so that we can take care of ourselves after work and not have to work through our lunches. [After] a year and a half of working here, I tore my rotator cuff. So I’ve injured myself on the job. 

The union is extremely needed in this industry. We know that they’re there looking out for us [and] helping us. We can go to them with issues. I don’t feel like I can do that with my company. I feel like I’m just talking and nobody’s listening, whereas the union is there to have our back. So I have prepared myself for a strike if [it gets] to that. I’ve been paying off my credit cards and [making] car payments ahead. Strike pay is nice, but it’s not going to handle all my bills. If that’s what it takes, I’m definitely ready to walk.

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