There is something obscenely fascinating about Las Vegas. Staying in the biggest hotel in the world, with 5,000 rooms. Live lions on display in the lobby. A casino area bigger than a football pitch. Not simply a pool, but an assembly of four open-air pools. Margaritas sold in 'by the yard' plastic glasses, Macdonalds style.
And it turns out that we are sharing this oasis of casino capitalism with a thousand of the most militant trade unionists in America.
The hotel's ballroom was the venue for a national convention of the United Steelworkers, a militant blue collar union with more than a million members. Swirling round the bars and gaming tables at the MGM Grand were hundred of workers sporting 'Stand Up, Fight Back!' sweat shirts - many with a figure, fashion style and political message which make Bob Crow seem the epitome of moderation.
God bless the USW, for truly they made Vegas bearable.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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