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Hundreds of union members block traffic on Las Vegas Strip

March 21, 2013

AP - Throngs of workers blocked traffic on the Las Vegas Strip Wednesday in a demonstration against the Cosmopolitan casino that ended with the arrest of nearly 100 protesters.

Tourists watched from an overpass across Las Vegas Boulevard as police led workers wearing red union shirts one-by-one into a white police bus.

Police arrested 98 protesters, according to Metro Police Capt. Todd Fasulo. The workers chanted, "If we don't get no contract, you don't get no peace," as they waited to be taken away.

Las Vegas' largest and most powerful union has been in contract talks with Cosmopolitan Las Vegas owner Deutsche Bank for two years.

Earlier this year, the 54,000-member union held two one-day pickets outside the casino, which sits on a bustling corner in the heart of the tourist corridor. They marked Culinary Workers Local 226's first pickets on the Strip since 2003.

Wednesday's action was the first time union members deployed civil disobedience, the tactical use of nonviolent law breaking, outside a unionized casino in more than two decades, according to union spokeswoman Yvanna Cancela.

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