Las Vegas culinary workers arrested following hospital picket

Multiple culinary workers were arrested outside Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas after a planned act of civil disobedience following a May 19 picket. 

The workers are part of the Culinary Union, which represents about 90 housekeepers, cooks, cashiers, kitchen workers and stewards at the hospital. Around 20 workers were arrested for sitting in the street outside the hospital following a picket. They did not block entrances or close the street where ambulances enter, a representative for the union told Becker's

The hospital has confirmed that no Valley Hospitals were arrested as part of the demonstration, a representative told Becker's June 1. The union members arrested worked for other establishments with collective bargaining agreements, such as hotels, casinos and restaurants.

The hospital and union are currently in contract negotiations, and have agreed on healthcare and pension benefits, according to a May 19 news release from the union. However, the hospital wants to subcontract out union jobs without limitations and replace union workers with temporary workers over time, the union alleges.

"Valley Hospital is union busting and is proposing to eliminate jobs and bring in unlimited subcontracted workers — we do not agree to unlimited subcontracting," Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer for the union, said in the release. "Valley Hospital employees have been unionized for over 40 years and they are essential workers who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity." 

The union recently voted to postpone its strike date until June 19. 

Editor's Note: This article was updated June 1 at 10:37 a.m. to include an update from Valley Hospital. 

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