Union Workers Rally On Vegas Strip For Return To Hotel Jobs

Elizabeth Renteria, a guestroom attendant for Caesars Palace, addresses the crowd at a rally of the Culinary Workers Union to bring attention to workers that are still not back working since the pandemic began, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, on the Strip in Las Vegas. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
Elizabeth Renteria, a guestroom attendant for Caesars Palace, addresses the crowd at a rally of the Culinary Workers Union to bring attention to workers that are still not back working since the pandemic began, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, on the Strip in Las Vegas. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Hundreds of hotel, casino and restaurant workers in matching red shirts rallied Thursday on the Las Vegas Strip as the Culinary union made a second monthly call to return people to jobs idled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Culinary union said more than one-third of its 60,000 members haven’t been rehired, despite a recovery by casinos and hotels from closures imposed in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“If companies are going to charge you the full rate you want to make sure you get full service,” union President Ted Pappageorge said, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The message echoed calls made Sept. 24, when the Culinary union organized a march of thousands of members on the Strip.

Casinos statewide have ridden a tourism surge to set monthly winnings records, room rates have rebounded, and tourism official report the number of visitors is approaching pre-pandemic levels.

Nevada’s unemployment rate in September was 7.5%, down slightly from 7.7% in August.

That’s more than twice the record low of 3.6% in February 2020, but far below the record peak of more than 30% set in April 2020 — a month after businesses and casinos were shuttered.

The union says many idled employees have exhausted public unemployment benefits.