The Culinary Union has launched a new website (CulinaryClean.org) today ahead of the anticipated re-opening of Nevada casinos tomorrow on June 4th, 2020. After months of advocating for increased transparency, the Culinary Union is pleased that most major gaming companies have posted their COVID-19 safety plans on their public-facing websites.
“From dealers to bellmen, cooks to guest room attendants, all casinos workers deserve to be safe and protected,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, Secretary-Treasurer for the Culinary Union. “The Culinary Union demands that the Nevada Gaming Commission, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, and the Clark County Commission mandate all casinos follow the updated guidance from SNHD regarding COVID-19 testing of 100% of front-line workers.”
The Culinary Union will continue to add information about casinos as they re-open, and the CulinaryClean.org site will be updated frequently to document each property’s progress.
Culinary Union is demanding safety for all hospitality and gaming workers in Nevada. The Culinary Union will be tracking what casino employers are doing to prevent COVID-19 in the following areas:
- Requiring daily cleaning of guest rooms
- Mandatory testing of all employees for COVID-19 before returning to work
- Providing adequate COVID-19 PPE for employees
- Enforcing social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention measures
- Posting a COVID-19 safety plan on public-facing website
The Culinary Union will be communicating with and collecting reports directly from workers on any hazardous working conditions. Workers will be able to report to their union and local/state authorities, including SNHD, Nevada OSHA, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board about any hazardous working conditions and any health and safety violations.
“Safety is my top concern when we reopen our city. Employees like me need to be tested regularly when casinos reopen,” said Nery Martinez, a bartender at Caesars Palace and father of two children. “Casinos need to make sure they are doing everything they can to make sure workers and our families are safe and healthy.”
“For safety and cleanliness, guest rooms should be checked and serviced every day,” said Gladis Blanco, a guest room attendant at the Bellagio, a mother with two kids, who has not gotten a single unemployment check since being laid off mid-March.
As casinos move to reopen, the Culinary Union will not allow workers to be experimented with. So far, 16 Culinary Union workers and family members have passed away due to COVID-19.
“I am at high risk for contracting COVID-19,” said Guadalupe Lucero, a guest room attendant at Bally’s for 29 years. “I am 61-years-old. I have asthma, high blood pressure, and I am a type 2 diabetic. We deserve to be protected as much as possible.”
The Culinary Union has proposed comprehensive public health guidelines to prevent COVID-19 in Las Vegas casinos:
- Prevention: Testing of workers for COVID-19 and screening both workers and guests on entry (temperature checks), as well as reducing the number of surfaces that are touched by multiple people.
- Protection: PPE should be provided to workers and guests alike. Appropriate distancing should be enforced among guests and workers alike.
- Enhanced cleaning: More frequent and more intensive cleaning of all areas and surfaces, including daily of guest rooms, training, and providing workers with ample time to follow new cleaning protocols.
- Implementation and enforcement: Culinary Union guidelines require that workers have a voice in ongoing implementation and enforcement of COVID-19 prevention measures – joint labor-management health and safety committees should be created.
Here are the guidelines from the Southern Nevada Health District on how best to prevent COVID-19 in casino hotels: http://media.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/download/COVID-19/reopening/what-hotels-resorts-can-do-to-prevent-covid-19-transmission.pdf
“Culinary Union’s Public Health Guidelines for Gaming Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic”