Las Vegas Casino Workers Could Prove Key to Donald Trump Election Defeat

  • The Culinary Workers Union helped secure Democrat victory in 2020 by keeping Nevada blue
  • The union thinks Joe Biden is the best option due to his favorable stance on worker rights
  • In contrast, Donald Trump introduced measures to weaken unions in his term in office
  • Trump is leading in the Nevada polls but union boss Ted Pappageorge is still confident
Donald Trump rally
Nevada casino workers could play a big part in Donald Trump losing the 2024 election, like they did in 2020. [Image:]

A key state

Nevada is currently a key battleground in US presidential elections. Although it only has six electoral votes, the jurisdiction is razor tight and helped provide Joe Biden with his win against Donald Trump in 2020. It also helped Hillary Clinton considerably in 2016, despite the former first lady failing to prevent Trump that time.

The reason that Nevada has become Democrat in the past decade? The Culinary Union 226 is largely responsible for that. The trade union – which includes casino and hotel workers from Las Vegas and surrounding areas – has come out in force over the past two election campaigns to stop Trump.

Union members knocked on more than 1 million doors

The group plans to send 500 union members out full time this year, knocking on doors, registering people to vote, and trying to sway residents towards Biden. They took the same tactic in 2016, 2020 and in 2022, when Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was re-elected. Union members knocked on more than 1 million doors that time around.

The union has actually backed the Republicans in the past, but it believes the Democrats are the way forward for working class folk. Union Secretary-Treasurer Ted Pappageorge called Biden “the best president for working class people and families and unions in my lifetime.”

The best option

You might be wondering why Pappageorge has such a preference for Biden over Trump. The answer lies mainly in their policies towards unions and strikes.

Throughout his presidency, Biden has shown substantial support for unions and their right to take action to get better contracts. He defined these rights as “democracy in action,” even turning up to picket lines to demonstrate his support. Last year, the culinary union exercised this right to secure better contracts between its workers and major Las Vegas casino giants. Biden visited Las Vegas after to congratulate casino workers.

The Culinary Union secured improved contracts with Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Wynn Resorts. This came after 95% of union members approved strike action. They threatened strikes in the build up to the Formula 1 Grand Prix to ensure their employers sat up and listened.

Trump could not be any more different in his treatment of unions, spending his four years in office from 2016 attempting to weaken them. A number of his policies had this effect, including suspending union elections for a period in the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing a rule that would make union elections take longer and require unnecessary litigation.

His opponents also claim that he stacked the courts with anti-labor judges, making it more difficult for them to secure success in the courts. He also supposedly added anti-labor appointees to the National Labor Relations Board, who would side with employers in contract disputes.

What are the odds?

Trump is currently leading in the polls in the 2024 race for the White House. Across the entire US, he is polling at around 46%, while Biden is at 44%. However, in good news for Biden fans, that gap has closed since January, when Biden had just 42% of the vote.

Independents also outnumber Democrats in the state for the first time

In Nevada specifically, the story isn’t much different with Trump narrowly leading most polls. A large part of this current swing comes from latino and black voters, who backed Biden overwhelmingly in 2020 but aren’t so anti-Trump this time around. Independents also outnumber Democrats in the state for the first time.

Despite this, Pappageorge isn’t too worried. “It’s early,” he explained, adding that he believes the latino working class voters are “not much different than white working class voters.” He thinks that ultimately they will come together to keep Trump from returning to office. He does, however, believe that “it’s going to be even closer” than previous elections. For this reason, “Nevada matters,” he concluded.

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