STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding the NV Gaming Commission’s policies for the resumption of gaming operations



Wednesday, May 6th, 2020


Bethany Khan:  (702) 387-7088

STATEMENT by Geoconda Argüello-Kline regarding the NV Gaming Commission’s policies for the resumption of gaming operations:

The Culinary Union demands transparency from the Nevada Gaming Commission regarding public health guidelines for gaming workers and tourists. The Nevada Gaming Commission is meeting Thursday, May 7th, 2020 to consider policies for the safe re-opening of casinos in the state. 

The Culinary Union urges the Nevada Gaming Commission to incorporate our proposed public health guidelines as a minimum standard in evaluating licensees' individual plans. In addition, we ask the Nevada Gaming Commission to release publicly all re-opening plans submitted by Nevada gaming operators, so the public can have confidence that the Nevada gaming industry is taking all necessary actions to ensure worker and guest safety during the on-going the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the Nevada Gaming Commission will not release the companies' plans, the Culinary Union calls on Governor Sisolak to ensure the information is made public.

The Wynn/Encore has stepped up and shown leadership by releasing their safety guidelines - that boosts public confidence and trust that Nevada casinos will be safety to visit when they reopen.

Safety is a matter of life and death for workers and tourists. Gaming companies have a responsibility to be transparent with Nevadans as our community fights to control this pandemic. The Culinary Union will continue to be vocal on this issue to make sure workers and guests are protected. 

Culinary Union’s proposal regarding public health guidelines: 

*Prevention: This includes testing of workers for the virus and antibodies 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 made widely available to workers and guests alike. Also, steps should be taken to maintain appropriate distancing among guests and workers in each facility.

*Enhanced cleaning: More frequent and more intensive cleaning of all surfaces will be necessary. So too will ensuring that workers have the appropriate training and sufficient time to follow cleaning protocols. 

*Implementation and enforcement: These guidelines will require detailed protocols unique to each gaming facility. Clear lines of authority, accountability, and monitoring must be established. To ensure that workers have a voice in ongoing implementation and enforcement, joint labor-management health and safety committees should be created.

Click here to see the full list of guidelines:


Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165, Nevada affiliates of UNITE HERE, represent 60,000 workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including at most of the casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas. UNITE HERE represents 300,000 workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America. 

The Culinary Union, through the Culinary Health Fund, is one of the largest healthcare consumers in the state. The Culinary Health Fund is sponsored by the Culinary Union and Las Vegas-area employers. It provides health insurance coverage for over 145,000 Nevadans, the Culinary Union’s members and their dependents.  

The Culinary Union is Nevada’s largest immigrant organization with members who come from 178 countries and speak over 40 different languages. We are proud to have helped over 18,000 immigrants become American citizens and new voters since 2001 through our affiliate, The Citizenship Project. 

The Culinary Union has a diverse membership -- approximately 55% women, 54% Latinx, 19% White, 15% Asian, 10% Black, and less than 1% Indigenous Peoples — and consists of guest room attendants, cocktail and food servers, porters, bellmen, cooks, bartenders, laundry and kitchen workers. The Culinary Union has been fighting for fair wages, job security, and good health benefits for workers in Nevada for 85 years. / @Culinary226 


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