Today, we will be live tweeting from Miami, FL as we stand up for the rights of the workers who were fired for being pro-union.
“I really believe in unions,” said Steven Wetstein, 58, who until a few months ago worked as a line cook in the casino’s French Quarter kitchen. “People need more job security, better wages, better health benefits.”
Wetstein believed in the union drive so much that he joined 14 others — floor attendants, a bartender, a cocktail waitress — in serving on the union leadership committee. Most of those workers, Wetstein included, have since been fired.
The fired workers, who call themselves the “Mardi Gras 10,’’ call their dismissal an illegal form of retaliation. And one of the group’s supporters, an Episcopalian priest, says casino management completely disrespected him after he dared to stick up for the employees.
“F—k your church!” is what the Rev. Richard Aguilar says Mardi Gras Vice President Dan Adkins shouted at him, while standing only inches from the priest’s face. Aguilar says the heated exchange happened near the casino’s entrance, where the priest, joined by casino workers, was demanding a meeting with management. The group wanted to know why workers leading the union effort were starting to be fired, despite Adkins having signed a written pledge to stay neutral on the union issue.