Latest Additions to Our Ranks Ready to Negotiate in Las Vegas
Susan Reed, a cage cashier at the Flamingo casino in Las Vegas, knows that there’s no substitute for sitting down as equals with management to discuss problems and opportunities on the job.
No amount of employee input, joint worker/ management committees or any other type of arrangement is equal to having the right to sit down with management and negotiate workplace changes through the collective bargaining process.
That’s because in collective bargaining, both sides get to have their say and make demands. Without a union, the process favors management. In the end, it’s their way or the highway. Reed and 25 other Flamingo cage cashiers who handle huge sums of money generated from slots and table games voted overwhelmingly in a National Labor Relations Board-supervised vote to join the UAW over the summer.
They watched as other Las Vegas gaming employees from the Flamingo/Margaritaville casinos, The LINQ, Paris/Ballys and The Cromwell properties joined the UAW and recently negotiated and ratified their
own strong contracts. Now it’s their turn. They are the first cage workers to unionize on The Strip. The issues for the cage cashiers had more to do with treatment on the job than compensation, Reed said.
“We’re excited because we are finally going to be heard on seniority, scheduling and other issues we face,” said Reed, now a member of Local 3555. “There isn’t a substitute for having a real voice in the workplace and the ability to make positive changes.”
The UAW now represents nearly 800 gaming workers on The Strip and more than 13,000 gaming workers in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and Rhode Island.
“We’re proud to welcome the cage cashiers at the Flamingo into the UAW,” said Gary Jones, director of Region 5, which includes Nevada. “Backed by Local 3555, we’re confident they will be able to improve their working conditions once they sit down at the negotiating table and bargain a first contract with the company.”
The cage cashiers are discovering what other UAW gaming workers on The Strip already know: Our union is about so much more than negotiating an extra dollar in our paycheck. Local 3555 members are well aware of how poorly Donald Trump treated UAW members and other union employees at his Atlantic City properties and how he treats current union employees at his Las Vegas property.
The local has been actively engaged in getting its members registered to vote by having a voter registration booth set up and staffed at each casino. Nevada is a critically important swing state for working families. They also will be focused on raising V-CAP funds to support candidates who support working families and invited all UAW-Nevada endorsed candidates to attend its 1st Annual Family Picnic in September for a meet-and-greet with members.
But the picnic also served another important purpose: It raised $1,400 for Opportunity Village, a Las Vegas-area charity that specializes in the needs of specially challenged children.
“Early on, this local has understood that it needs to be involved in our political process and in our community,” Jones said. “Their activism is inspiring.”
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