Nov. 12, 2023

This week, we saw the power of unions sweep to victory and grow their political power. After 118 days on strike, the Hollywood SAG-AFTRA got pretty much everything they wanted in a new contract with studios. The big issue was the use of AI. SAG-AFTRA demanded “consent and compensation guardrails” on the use of AI. Under the new rules, studios must obtain an actor’s informed consent before creating or using a digital replica of a performer, even background actors. Star Wars Rogue One digitally resurrects Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher, and Peter Cushing as the Grand Moff Tarkin, a character from the original 1977’s Star Wars who’s been dead now for almost 30 years. Creepy.

And this week, the Culinary Union and casinos here in Las Vegas inked a new contract on the heels of F1. The Culinary Union was set to strike right in the middle of F1. This was the leverage they needed to force a settlement.

Biden issued a statement in response to the Culinary Union contract settlement.

Congratulations to the Culinary and Bartenders Unions who worked together in good faith towards an agreement that gives all workers the quality of life they deserve. Las Vegas has a long union history and workers have been critical to the city’s growth and success. All workers, including hospitality workers – should have good jobs with fair pay and benefits that give them the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

The Culinary Union has been a significant source of political power for Dems here in Nevada and helped Harry Reid build his political machine.

Nevada Dems have played both the casinos and unions off each other for years. Now the Dems get campaign money from both sides.

Republicans have been dogmatically shortsighted for far too long when it comes to unions. Particularly factory, construction, and skilled unions. Dems have hurt many skilled labor unions over the last 20 years with policies that helped China take our jobs and industries. Republicans’ criticism of unions that build roads and baseball stadiums has hurt our efforts to build relations and win votes.

The local Carpenters’ Union and, of course, government unions, like the AFL-CIO, continue to delver money and votes for Dems here in Nevada. But your average union member could be a Republican voter with the right approach. These folks drive pickup trucks and go hunting and fishing. They watch football and MMA. They pay taxes, and their kids attend public schools.

Republicans need to compete for their votes by supporting local union projects. We need to communicate with their leadership and workers. We need to work hard to win them over with American First policies that block Chinese companies from underselling our factory union workers. We can also win on social issues. Such as opposing trans studies and protecting girls in our public schools.

Last year’s race for governor was a power example. After Dems called for defuding police and pro-criminal public policies, police unions helped Gov. Lombardo defeat Sisolak last year.

In the past, unions were Democrat strongholds. Republicans stayed in their lane. The world has changed radically over the past 20 years; the Republican Party needs to change with it and embrace working families.

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