Workers protest outside Cosmopolitan - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Union workers protest Cosmopolitan

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Union workers protest outside the Cosmopolitan. Union workers protest outside the Cosmopolitan.
Workers protested a perceived lack of progress in contract negotiations. (Doug Johnson/FOX5) Workers protested a perceived lack of progress in contract negotiations. (Doug Johnson/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

With dozens of chants and hundreds of signs, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas employees and Culinary Union members crowded the sidewalk and pedestrian bridge around the casino on Thursday, all asking for one thing.

"We've been in negotiations for over 18 months now, and we want a contract," said George Sproule, who works at the Cosmopolitan as a mixologist.

Since opening in December 2010, Culinary Union 226 members said they haven't been able to form a union contract. They blame casino owner Deutsche Bank for not allowing fair wages and benefits.

"More than anything, we don't have no raise for the past two years," said Araceli Ortiz, who works at the Cosmopolitan as a housekeeper and guestroom attendant.

The Cosmopolitan released a statement to FOX5 stating: "We understand the union's right to picket. The Cosmopolitan has been negotiating in good faith and will continue to do so."

A similar crowd also gathered in front of the hotel and casino earlier Thursday.

However, at night, demonstrators caused bottlenecks with the influx of tourists passing by.

"It's not pleasant. You come here for vacation and you hear all that," said Peter Mineo, who is visiting the Strip from Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Still, Mineo said he didn't mind and supports the workers' cause.

"(If management is) unfair in negotiations, like being union-busting-type management, I would not stay at the hotel," Mineo told FOX5.

Cosmopolitan employees admitted not everyone who was in the picket line Thursday night actually works at the hotel and that many are just union members.

"If I had to guess, maybe 50 to 60 percent (work at the Cosmopolitan), I would say," Sproule said.

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