Nevada Union Caravan Calls for Casino Reopening Transparency, Employee Protections

  • The car caravan demonstration took place along the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday evening
  • Culinary Workers Union Local 226 called on casinos to be transparent in their reopening plans
  • Casino employees are seeking a safe work environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Requests include PPE, temperature checks, and frequent cleaning of gambling facilities
  • The activity follows UNITE HERE's issuing of guidelines for better employee and guest protection 
night traffic on the Las Vegas Strip
Nevada’s Culinary Workers Union hosted a caravan to demand full transparency on employee protections as casinos reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. [Image:]

Employees want a safe work environment

Nevada’s Culinary Workers Union Local 226 hosted a car caravan along the Las Vegas Strip on Tuesday evening, with members calling for full transparency from casinos as reopening begins.

The union wants casino operators to protect employees as they get back to work. Employees want to know what gambling businesses are going to do to ensure their safety during the pandemic.

urged casinos not to gamble with their employees’ lives

The caravan demonstration began at 5pm. Car passengers held signs and waved as the vehicles drove along the designated path, ending at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. The messages urged casinos not to gamble with their employees’ lives. Examples of the signs created by casino workers showed up on Twitter:

Demands for reopening plans to be made public

The union is asking casinos to make their reopening plans public. It is also calling on gambling businesses to meet health guidelines, which includes testing workers for the virus and antibodies. It is requesting temperature checks for everyone entering a casino facility, with employees demanding the provision of personal protective equipment for themselves and guests.

Union members also want frequent and intensive cleaning of casinos. The group has requested that operators provide employees with proper training for the facilities’ cleaning needs.

Nevada has a chance to be a leader for the hospitality industry”

According to the union’s secretary-treasurer, Geoconda Arguello-Kline, “Nevada has a chance to be a leader for the hospitality industry.” She asked: “If casino companies will not release their plans and be transparent before reopening how can customers and workers know they will be safe?”

Urging casinos to follow union guidelines

The Nevada-based Culinary Workers Union is part of the United States labor union UNITE HERE. The latter recently presented a checklist for better employee and guest protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommendations for casinos include providing patrons with surgical masks. Employees also want touchless systems such as contactless tipping methods. UNITE HERE also suggests that employers shut down slot games and change the casino floor layout to ensure social distancing. Union president D. Taylor said gaming regulators must take action if operators fail to adhere to the guidelines.

UNITE HERE wants the Nevada Gaming Commission to implement its guidelines and to require casinos to follow them on reopening to the public.

Caesars, Las Vegas Sands provide reopening plans

Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands released their reopening plans on the same day as the caravan. Caesars plans on reopening its properties in phases, while Las Vegas Sands will be testing employees before its facilities resume operation in June.

Both casino companies have safety measures listed in the reopening plans submitted.

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