Culinary Union protesters ramp up insult campaign on Strip

The Culinary Union has added a new batch of insults to its campaign to keep Las Vegas visitors out of the Cosmopolitan.

In a recent video released by the Alliance to Protect Nevada Jobs, protesting Culinary members armed with megaphones were captured calling guests “beached whales” and what sounds like “retards.”

Culinary officials deny a man in the video, wearing a baseball cap and reflective vest, used the word “retard.” The APNJ edited the video — captured at an Oct. 14 protest — adding subtitles.

The APNJ is using the video as fodder against the Culinary and a lure to attract local lawmakers into a fight against the union’s guerilla tactics.

The local worker advocacy group announced today it plans to launch an online petition asking legislators to denounce the Culinary and take a stand against the union, which represents more than 50,000 service workers along the Strip.

The APNJ, a project of the Workforce Fairness Institute, recently launched a series of counter-demonstrations during Culinary protests. Instead of picketing, the group has distributed thank-you cards to guests for their contributions to the Southern Nevada economy.

APNJ members also carried video cameras to record the Culinary’s interactions with people outside the Cosmopolitan.

The footage released today marks the second time in recent weeks that the Culinary’s insult tactics have been caught on video.

The first clip, released on YouTube Oct. 9, shows a Culinary member calling guests “jerks” and “losers.”

“You and your girlfriend are a bunch of losers,” a man says. “Losers!...Especially your girlfriend. She’s a loser!”

Geoconda Argulleo-Kline, the Culinary’s secretary-treasurer, then defended the union’s name-calling campaign.

“The recent civil disobediences, rallies and pickets are exercises of workers’ First Amendment rights,” she said in a recent statement, “and part of the struggle for the Las Vegas Dream.”

The Culinary this year vowed to maintain a constant presence outside the Cosmopolitan, where 2,000 workers have been clocking in without a labor agreement for more than two years.

The protests will end, officials say, when those workers get contracts.