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.