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Union workers rally for right to return to jobs

Updated October 6, 2020 - 7:35 am

A coalition of labor unions again gathered in front of the Clark County Commission on Tuesday morning to push for local workers’ right to return to work.

The Save Our Jobs union coalition is looking to establish a Right to Return ordinance, which would require employers to offer both union and nonunion workers the right to return to their jobs after being laid off or furloughed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, once the business reopens and operations resume.

The coalition held a rally in front of the Clark County Commission in August, asking for the ordinance to be placed on the Sept. 1 agenda. The ordinance has yet to make it onto a commission agenda.

“The Save Our Jobs Coalition continues to call on the Clark County Commission to place a Right to Return ordinance on the agenda” as soon as possible, Culinary Local 226 spokeswoman Bethany Khan said Monday.

Other unions in the coalition include Bartenders Local 165, IATSE Local 720, National Nurses United, Operating Engineers Local 501, SEIU 1107, Teamsters Local 986, Teamsters Local 631 and United Auto Workers Local 3555. Combined, the unions represent roughly 87,000 workers in Nevada, according to a Friday news release from the Culinary union.

“Workers have helped to build Nevada into the tourism and entertainment capital of the world,” a Friday statement from the Culinary union said. “Every one of those workers should have the right to come back to their previous jobs when business resumes. They have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.”

Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom, who spoke at Tuesday’s rally, said the coalition’s efforts through rallies and putting flyers on doors has put political pressure on commission members. Segerblom said he supports the ordinance.

“A lot of these employees have worked for years and years, are out of work, and there’s no clear sign of when (all of) these hotels will open up,” he said. “The incentive for employers is to hire younger, less experienced employees with less seniority and vacation, but the reality is these (veteran workers) have made Las Vegas great.”

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.