The Culinary Union announced Saturday it will file a lawsuit Monday, June 29, on behalf of the workers at Las Vegas Strip casinos the union represents, against the respective casino operators. The union is suing the companies for injunctive relief under the Labor-Management Relations Act based on the hazardous working conditions that workers face.
The Culinary Union that represents 60,000 workers from the hotels, restaurants, and laundries of the casinos in Las Vegas and Reno, alleges casino operators of not protecting employees and their families, as well as the community, from the spread of the contagious coronavirus, branding current rules and procedures regarding safety at the workplace as “wholly and dangerously inadequate”.
Casinos Accused of Safety Negligence
Casinos in Nevada began re-opening for customers June 4 after nearly 3 months of closure to support the state effort to curb the spread of the virus infection. Gaming venues resumed operations implementing certain risk mitigation measures and safety protocols, but the largest workers union claims it tracks progress in every gaming facility according to 6 specific criteria and the conclusion so far is that safety has been vastly neglected.
The criteria the Culinary Union uses as a form of key safety indicators include:
- Cleaning of guest rooms on a daily basis, a requirement that, out of the 36 casinos in Las Vegas the union tracks, only two, Cosmopolitan and El Cortez are fulfilling;
- Mandatory testing before returning to work for all workers and regular testing thereafter, a condition 14 out of the properties among which Aria, the Bellagio and Caesars Palace fail to meet, with another 11 failing to provide any info at all;
- Providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for employees;
- Enforcing physical distancing and other measures aimed at virus spread prevention;
- Mandatory facial mask policy for guests, and;
- A safety plan to be posted by each casino company on a public-facing website, a simple requirement Binion’s, Circus Circus Las Vegas and Four Queens are so far failing to comply with.
The Culinary Union is scheduling a press conference Monday, June 29, 2020, at 11 am Pacific / 2 pm Eastern, to provide details regarding the lawsuit. The press conference that will feature among the speakers the daughter of a recently infected union member, will be live-streamed for the general public through the Facebook page of the union.
The Culinary Union that is the largest labor organization in Nevada, was among the most active even before the beginning of the health crisis, seeking collaboration with casino operators regarding the possible effects of a coronavirus outbreak.