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In the Words of Its Members

The role that the union has played is best summed up in the words of its members. One of them, Shawn Best, was a casino worker in the Cosmopolitan on the strip. Unable to pay his rent, he lived in a hotel which he could not sustain for long. He called his union which put him in touch with  a non-profit organization that provided him with rental assistance. “Without the union, I would have been homeless,” he recalled. He is also a diabetic who needs regular insulin and spent some time in the hospital in 2020 with complications from the disease. Without the union’s health care, he would not have had the insulation he needed, and in his words, “I might have been dead.”

Another worker on the strip, a porter at The Strat who goes by one name, Rocha, can’t hide her love for the union. Since she joined, according to the In These Times article, “she’s received free training for a new job at the union-affiliated Culinary Academy; she took a leave of absence from work to help with union business, a benefit guaranteed by her contract; and she bought a house, with help from the union housing program that provides mortgage assistance and training for first-time homebuyers.”

She also got Covid and was out of work and in quarantine for four weeks. “It was really scary,” she says. “But having an organization like the union, that protects and fights for our rights, our protection, it makes you feel strong.” It’s wonderful to feel “I’m not alone.”

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