LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Some construction workers with Teamsters Local 631 are considering leaving Las Vegas because they have no work to do.
Teamsters Local 631 business agent James Harmer said they usually have 3-4,000 members working full-time on a regular basis on Strip and in downtown.
“Each of those members is currently completely out of work in a market where hospitality has been decimated,” said Harmer.
“Members are hurting. I mean they want to get back to work, they want their jobs,” said union steward James Turner.
Without conventions or trade shows, there are no jobs for Teamsters Local 631.
Most of Las Vegas’ biggest conventions were canceled this year like the National Association of Broadcasters, MAGIC, ISC Security and CES 2021 recently announced it is going digital.
“The LVCVA has shows still on the calendar. And ‘on the calendar’ is the key word. So we remain hopeful that those shows won't cancel. But as time comes and draws nearer to that event we’re getting the 30 to 45 day out cancellations for shows, which seems to be an ongoing domino effect,” said Harmer.
The union relies on more than just the big shows too. Las Vegas hosts hundreds of smaller trade shows every year but those are also canceled.
Harmer said on top of international travel restrictions, liability is another issue.
“Associations can’t afford to come to Las Vegas put on a trade show and then be slammed with lawsuits over [COVID-19],” he said.
Harmer and Turner said they’re trying to encourage members to stay hopeful and stick around but many still haven’t received unemployment. They said they understand why some families might need to leave the valley all together.
“You need to do what you can to prepare for yourself and your family whatever that may be so you have food on the table and you can pay your bills and make it through to when work does come back,” said Turner.
Conventions are a billion dollar industry nationwide. There are a lot of different groups involved -- contractors, associations and corporations.
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